Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whoo's the Cutest Halloween Owl?

After much debate - I decided to buy my son's costume this year (Luigi from Target) and make my daughter's.  I loved the Pottery Barn Kids' owl costume last year, but it was no longer available.   I found a number of great inspirations on Pinterest and went from there.

It really is a combination of many inspiration pieces.   For the base of the costume, I used a plain long sleeve pink t-shirt. To that I added pink and white felt feathers. The inspiration for the shirt came from the infamous Martha and her uber-adorable fledgling owl.

The feathers on mine are pink and white felt. I used AlphaMom's pattern for these. She did hers with an assortment of fabrics, which I also liked.

I did make the top few rows have smaller feathers so that I could fit a fair number around the top. And, yes, I did sew all of mine on to the shirt. My girl is rough on clothes and I knew if one of them bothered her, they would all be pulled off if I just used glue.

I also really liked Christine's pattern for feathers and a mask at Pure Joy Events.  The hoodie she used as her base is awesome, too, but I didn't have an extra on-hand that I wanted to sacrifice for the costume.   I debated on putting the white just long the center, as well, but ended up alternating my rows.   I also used part of her mask template for the face.

Since I was making this for my very precocious three year old, I decided against using a mask. I figured there was no way she'd leave it on.  I debated making a hat and loved some of the crochet patterns on found on Etsy, but again, I wasn't sure she'd leave it one. So - in the end - I went with a hooded cape.

I took the greatest inspiration from LivyLooWho

and some from Erica at B is for Boy:

In particular, I loved how she topstitched to create a wing effect on the cape.

She's done some other great versions, too, including a bat and some super-cool Angry Birds!

Now, let me just say, I'm not an expert seamstress by any stretch of the imagination! I did, though, manage to scratch out my own pattern for the cape and hood. I used a few measurements and drew the cape on freezer paper - folding it over to get the mirror image for the other half. For the hood, I used a hooded sweatshirt and traced the shape. I used a 1/2" seam allowance on all of it. It isn't perfect, but for a first attempt - I'm pretty pleased.  Most importantly - so is my daughter. That is - as long as she's allowed to play with her kitten while wearing it!

Linking up here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

You are my Wild

I recently saw a quote from the book, You Are My I Love You, by Mariann Cusimano.  I'm ordering it for my daughter for Christmas. In the meanwhile, I thought I'd add a selection to this photo of her at the beach this summer.

She is my child and every bit my wild.  Every day - from dawn up to very late wide awake. She wears me out and sometimes wears me down. But she also lifts me up - every single day. She's my giggle and my wiggle.  I love you, AOH.

Fall Mantel

I can't be alone, but I swear EVERY mantel I've seen online - blog parties, BHG, Pinterest, etc. - has a beautiful focal point. Be it a gorgeous mirror, shutters, or some cool re-fashioned pallet art - they are pretty. What do I have above my mantel - a flat screen TV. Gorgeous? No! Functional and a marriage saver? Absolutely!

So - I'm stuck with an unattractive focal point, but I might as well try to make the best of it! So - all of that said - here's my attempt for a fall mantel/TV land.

The apothecary jars are filled with faux-fruit - appropriate since we live in the midst of apple-country. I found the owl at TJ Maxx recently and loved it. On his own, he was too small, but stacked on a few random history books, he looks more appropriate. My favorite part, though, is the Fall saying in the middle. The frames were all brass once upon a time, but I gave them new life with some spray paint. I used some patterned paper for the background on each and then raided my stash of vintage sewing items to make the letters. The F is made of wooden spools from my great grandmother's sewing kit. The A is an embroidery hoop with a braided "tail," and the Ls are old spools from a local antique shop.

On a side note - the TV is wired from behind the gas-fireplace and not in the wall. The wires were driving me crazy, though. Rather than mess with the drywall, we found a workaround and built a three-sided box to fit behind the TV. It covers both the wires and the two electric receptacles that are in unfortunate locations (i.e. not hidden behind the TV). We painted it the same color as the wall and it blends in pretty well, I think.

So - am I alone in the TV over the mantel crowd? Please say no.

Linking up:

Home Stories A2Z

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hooked on Pinterest

Just when I thought there couldn't be anything more addictive and time-sucking that Facebook or a Google Reader full of unread posts --- along comes Pinterest! If you haven't started pinning, you totally should!  It is a great way to keep track of recipes, crafts, decorating ideas, fashion - just about anything you want!

"Pins"- in general - are photos that are linked to their original source and categorized onto "boards" or categories you create.  Here's a snap shot of my Pinterest screen recently.  If you need an invite - just let me know!  You'll love it!

Age 6

My son recently turned six (a fact with which I'm still trying to come to turns). I had seen this pin on Pinterest beforehand and thought I'd try to snap a photo of just him on his birthday that would work. We were at my in-laws' farm for family reunions and had just taken a photo of the kids with their cousins. He was cooperative but silly. I love how it turned out, though.

Linking up with the Pinterest Challenge at Young House Love here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thankful Thought 001

This fall we moved from an awesome, fun and active suburban neighborhood to a quiet one-lane road in the country. To say it was culture shock for me is an understatement. I've cried in our new house. I've teared up visiting our old neighborhood. I've ached over the decision. 

It has taken me a full four months to fully appreciate our new surroundings.  I'm happy, though, that last week, not a tear was in sight when I visited our old neighborhood. In fact, I couldn't help but think how close the houses were to each other. Coming and going, I was amazed by how long I sat at red lights. (I'm a good 15 minutes from the nearest stop light in our new town.)

So, when Ali Edwards posted her Thankful Thought photo the other day, I knew exactly what I wanted to share I am thankful for right now - our new neighborhood. 

Have I had to adjust my thought process a little? Sure. There aren't side walks or street lights. There aren't a ton of kids to play with at a moment's notice. There isn't a book club or a Secret Santa.

What there is, though, are great people and an amazing landscape. It is peaceful and quiet. I've never seen the stars any brighter than I do from our back yard. The kids can be as loud as they want in the yard, and I don't worry that they're bothering anyone. And the orchards - well - they are seemingly endless. 

Today the kids and I wandered the orchards right across the street - splashing in mud puddles, checking out the buds on the trees, noting from which rows of trees the workers have picked up the trimmings, and walking until we could see nothing but more trees. 

I was completely happy and very, very thankful.

Playing Around

The other week my friend Kelly Willette offered free Lightroom presets on her Facebook fanpage. I downloaded them and tucked them away thinking I'd get to them someday.

Today, my daughter was in a rare "take my peek-ture, Mommy" mood. I snapped a few and then played around with them this evening using the new presets. My favorite is "peep love." It has an awesome  bright, vintage feel. Go check out Kelly's page, become a fan, and help yourself to the exclusive while it lasts!