A New Project. I love the beginnings of a new sewing project: ironing the wrinkles from the fabric, laying out tissue pattern pieces, smoothing and fitting and pinning. I like having all of the pieces ready and then starting out with something new. There is always such potential at the beginning stages. No mistakes yet, no starting over or ripping out…just thoughts of what is to come and a path to set out on.
I love Pinterest. It is a guilty pleasure of mine that I admittedly don’t have enough time for. (Here are my sparse Pinterest boards). As much as I love the online version, I cannot let go of good old-fashioned magazine tears. I love the tactile quality of ripping out pages and I love cutting out and collaging the images together. I collect photos from the pages of Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Anthropologie catalogs, Domino, Blue Print, Martha Stewart Weddings, etc. etc and paste them into large blank sketch journals. I think my idea for these books came from the amazingly obsessive collections made by my great-grandmother. (I will post on Gram’s books soon). I have used the images from my books as inspiration boards when I worked in fashion, as reminders of how I want our home to look when going out to a flea market, and as idea pages for styling work. But most of the time I just enjoy flipping through the pictures and getting inspired.
*Sorry for my lack of image credits above. Unlike with Pinterest, I don’t keep my sources credited in my books. I will be happy to credit any images if you drop me an email!*
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This smock dress is a variation on a vintage McCall’s pattern, #3470 from 1972. I have had this dog print fabric for years and finally made it into a dress for Josie’s birthday last week. (The dress was immediately trumped by Daddy’s gift of green pjs from Baby Gap). Josie is at the age when a dog spotted on the sidewalk is extremely exciting, so I am hoping she will like the dress more as she grows into it. The pattern is fairly easy and includes variations with pants and a jumper top with short ruffle sleeves. (See our version of the ruffle sleeve dress here). I love the short smock dress because it can be worn as a dress and then a top as the girls grow. You can find your own pattern #3470 here, or search Etsy for other vintage patterns.
It is hard to believe our little Josie is already two! It seems like just the other day when Chris and I were planning our last weekend alone and my water broke two weeks early. Josie has been sweet and kind and funny ever since her unexpected arrival. Thank you for always making us smile Ms. Josie. We had a little party this weekend and celebrated the actual day yesterday with cupcakes and berries and a pair of footie pjs from Daddy.
*Bathroom hyacinth in a favorite Swanky Swig.
*Gift Bag Contents. (I used to be anti-giftbag. We never had these when I little, but kids love them and Ada insisted on making these). Straws from Shop Sweet Lulu, mini fans and spirals from Pearl River Trading ,tape from Target.
Happy Birthday Big Girl!
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Josie turns two tomorrow (!) and we came up with this Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe for her party. I was dreaming of cherry ice cream this year, even though we are months from seasonal cherries. We ended up using frozen cherries and changing up Ina Garten’s Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. We added almond extract and concentrated black cherry juice to make the flavor more intense and the results were pretty yummy, if I do say so myself. Josie just saw the ice cream photo on my screen and begged for more ice cream for breakfast. Success. To make your own Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream you will need:
*Ice Cream Maker
*3 Cups of Good Quality Heavy Cream (The quality makes all the difference!)
*2/3 Cups + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
*1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
*3/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract
*One Vanilla Bean
*Two 12 Oz Packs of Unsweetened Frozen Cherries
*4-5 Tablespoons Black Cherry Juice Concentrate (We used this from Dynamic Health. You could also cook down unsweetened cherry juice)
1. Heat cream, sugar, vanilla, scraped seeds from vanilla bean and empty seed pod in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Place mixture in refrigerator to cool.
2. Pour the frozen cherries into a deep sauté pan and cook down over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often. The cherries will release a lot of liquid at first and then begin to look more gel-like. When liquid seems to be thickening, add cherry concentrate, almond extract and tablespoon of sugar. Cook a few more minutes until mixture resembles loose jam.
3. Place mixture in refrigerator to cool.
4. After an hour add cream and cherry mixture together, put into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions.
5. Allow ice cream to chill in freezer when complete and soften slightly before serving.
Ada came home from school the other day with this card and I fell in love with the drawing. The kids made them by drawing a paperwhite plant which was growing in the classroom. The initial drawing was made with crayon and then painted with a wash of watercolor to make the colors pop. Do you remember making those? It always seemed like some kind of magic to watch my crayon marks emerge from under wet paint, brighter than when I had first laid them down. This drawing is one of those art projects that I will carefully save away in Ada’s art folder. (Unlike much of the paper that she comes home, which I save for a little while and then recycle when she has forgotten them). I think this is the first drawing she has made from careful observation. I love that she drew all the parts of the plant- leaves, bulb, tiny roots and open flowers. It is exciting to watch her art projects change as she grows older. Proud Mama.
I posted directions to make these Felt Alphabet Magnets a few months ago. Ada has used her set on our fridge since she was first learning her letters. I wanted to make an alphabet set as a gift for my niece, but wasn’t sure how they would look when they arrived through the mail. (The magnets are really strong and they tend to stick together when they get the chance). I decided to stitch the letters down to some card stock and then layer the sheets with tissue paper inside a box. To make your own Felt Alphabet Magnet Gift you will need to:
1. Follow directions here to make alphabet letters
2. Cut card stock to fit snuggly inside box
3. Using thin thread and a needle, stitch up through the back of card stock. Catch the bottom of a felt letter and stitch it down, being careful not to poke through the top of the letter. We used 2-3 stitches per letter to hold in place.
4. Place down your next letter and repeat.
5. When all letters are secure tie off thread.
6. Place tissue paper in box and layer card stock with letters in alphabetical order from the top down.
7. Fold tissue over the top of the letters and wrap up the box.
Here are some other felt projects you may enjoy:
There is nothing quite as perfect as a pristine box of Crayolas, but little hands tend to snap the thin crayons quickly. Josie will sit for an hour peeling the paper wrappers off of Ada’s crayons, (thus instigating a big fight). This is our little kid crayon box – the shapes and sizes work better for smaller hands and they are all less breakable than the classics.
*Crayon Rings ($5.99 for 6)
*Short Crayons (Similar to ours – $5.99 for 12)
*Stubby Crayons (Similar to ours – $7.99 for 18)
*Animal Crayons ($11.49 for 12)
*Crayon Necklace ($10.50)
*You may also like these kid art supply posts:
This Framed Crayon Heart Valentine starts out with some good old-fashioned scribbling. The kids, (or adults) can be as messy as they want with the coloring and the frame will contain and define the heart shape. To make your own Framed Crayon Heart Valentine you will need:
*Crayons in Reds and Pinks
*Exact-o Knife or Sharp Scissors
*Thin Black Marker
1. Cut two pieces of card stock- one to form the card and the other slightly smaller than one side of the folded card.
2. Color one side of the smaller card stock making sure you go all the way to the edges.
3. Fold card in half and draw a heart on the inside front fold.
4. Using an Exact-o or scissors, cut out the heart shape.
5. On the outside of the card draw designs around the heart frame as shown.
6. Place double-stick tape along the inside of the card, around the heart shape.
7. Tape the colored card stock inside card, with coloring facing out through the heart frame.
8. Write your message inside card, place in the envelope and pop in the mail.
*One more week till V-day! XO