Christmas dresses

I know Christmas is over but I still want to share a few of the things I made. First up are my girl’s Christmas dresses.IMG_4225

I used satin rosette fabric and coordinating satin fabric that I purchased from fabric.com. Isn’t that rosette fabric simply beautiful? My little girls went crazy over it…so did I!

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For the bodice I used Mouse House Creations The Caroline Party Dress pattern and then used The Norah Dress pattern for the skirt part.  With all those pretty flowers the skirt part needed to be a simple a-line shape.

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I also made some matching headbands to go along with the dresses. My girls loved the headbands but they may not have been the best idea when it came to church. They ended up turning their headbands into spy glasses and every other funny thing they could think of. Mass at night is always a challenge for us and put the excitement of Christmas on top of that you never know what you are going to end up with.

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It was my second time working with satin and as much as I love the looks of it I am pretty sure I will not be using it very often. It is a very fussy fabric.

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Melly Sews has a great post for working with satin and other fancy fabrics. You can read that post here. I highly recommend you reading it before you wash or start working with your fabrics.

IMG_4264In case you are wondering that is a store bought shirt for my little guy. Next year I must make him something. He definitely gets a lot less handmade goodies then the girls.

Meeting Santa

The kids met Santa for the first time this past weekend. It was so much fun. My little boy asked for a Nerf gun, a toy crocodile and a toy snake. I sure hope Santa told him that he only brings 1 gift to each boy and girl. IMG_3599 copyThis little girl asked for a pink salamander skateboard.IMG_3601While her little sister asked for a blue frog skateboard. IMG_3605 copy My kids come up with some unique requests, don’t they?IMG_3609I just hope Santa knows where to find them. IMG_3610

Christmas branches for the kiddos.

A few weeks ago the kiddos were wondering where our Christmas branch was. We already had our tree up and decorated but apparently they missed our Christmas branch. They were always a joke for the hubby and I, but truthfully they were a huge part of our past Christmas’s. So instead of going without the infamous Christmas branch I decided to decorate a few branches and place them in the kiddos rooms.Now the kiddos have a pretty little Christmas branch to look at and we can be reminded of our past Christmas’s. As you can see, the girls Christmas branch is decorated with tissue paper flowers and battery operated flowered lights. Goodies I already had in my crafting supplies. The girls are beyond excited to have their very own Christmas branch.For my little guy I decided to decorate his Christmas branch with what he loves most…John Deere tractors.I just took a bunch of his little tractors and tied them onto the branches with yellow yarn.Quick and free…but greatly loved!I just love how a simple little Christmas branch can bring such joy and happiness to them and I have to admit they are quit magical all lit up at night.Do any of you put little trees in the kiddos bedrooms? Or anywhere else? They are so cute I could totally see myself putting them in every room next year!

2012 Advent Calendar

I love advent calendars! I think it is such a fun tradition to have. I mean who doesn’t love opening 25 presents?!The kiddos love opening them up as much as I love making them.This year I decided to use an old wooden ladder that we had outside with a bunch of cute socks that I just purchased at Walmart.I actually purchased the socks because I was in need of some new ones but when I got them home I thought they would make the cutest little advent calendar tied all over the ladder. So I guess I will be waiting a few more weeks for my new socks…all for the sake of crafting.Filling advent calendars can be tricky. I try to fill them up with useful things and fun activities to do with the kiddos. Of course they get a few pieces of candy and some cheap little toys, but for the most part I try to keep it cheap and practical.I ended up putting the ladder/advent calendar in the kitchen since I spend so much time in there plus it is fun to stare at the pretty little white lights.Since I only purchased a few pairs of socks I still needed some more items to hide my treats inside, so I ended up searching around the house for anything that matched. You will be surprised by how many things you can find already in your house…and they are free! I even ended up using some burlap bags that we had left from our wedding. Once I had all the bags, socks and boxes filled with goodies I printed off some free advent calendar numbers here from HGTV. When the kiddos woke up from their naps they thought that I had made our Christmas tree. Oh they are too cute! And yes, as you can imagine they are driving me crazy already wondering when they can start opening those little gifts up!

Here are some of my past advent calendars. In 2010 I filled canning jars and dollar store bags full of treats.I even made a special beer filled advent calendar for the hubby one year. As you can imagine he LOVED it and may even get one again this year.Last year we did a Christmas book advent calendar. It was fun but my kiddos prefer a candy/present filled advent calendar more. Plus I really should have removed the Christmas books from the book case a bit sooner. We had already been reading those same books all year long.Do you do an advent calendar in your house? What do you hide inside for treats?

Christmas, New Years and Chineese Chopsticks

I’m going to miss the Holiday season and all the excitement that comes along with it. Looking for Reindeer in the garden is much more fun at Christmas time while being dressed in Santa suits.

And I’m going to miss watching the kids act out scenes from The Grinch. But really, if I have to play Max one more time I just may burst. Why can’t I ever be the Grinch?!
The tree after Santa came.
Santa couldn’t find his tractor that digs on two sides, but instead brought a chainsaw and weed whacker. We wondered what would happen Christmas morning but were not expecting what we got when we walked downstairs. Immediately he screamed “Oh, just what I always wanted a weed whacker and chainsaw! Santa couldn’t find my tractor so he brought these instead!” Yes, that was the best way to have Santa introduced in this house. Santa brought the girls a doll highchair that was purchased this summer for a mere $3. All it needed was a little love and lots of spray paint. Their best finds in their stockings were definitely the electric toothbrushes and the Bug Juice. We learned fast that it doesn’t take much to make these kids happy. Hope that never changes.
The girls got their first doll house from Grammy, while our little guy got his first set of Lego’s.
We even added a few new “ornaments” to the tree. This one reminds us of some relatives that were visiting this summer and all the fun we had together. Mary, I thought you would get a chuckle out of that one. But really, these two dog toys have been a hit!
Plus they even match my tree decor. Yes, I’m that crazy.
I’m sad to see it go, but the tree must come down this weekend.
It is shedding everywhere.


We rang in the New Year with Chinese food and some chopsticks. Ok, maybe it was more like daytime then night, but who is counting when you have 3 little ones.
It was fun trying to use the chopsticks. Our little guy came up with a great technique for using the chopsticks and ended up using them the whole meal.
Whereas this little one decided to use what God gave her instead.
I have to admit it is much faster that way.
It was fun to try and they do make great drumming sticks once your done.
So… farewell 2011 and hello 2012!

Letter to Santa

This is the year Santa has been discovered.

I have never really pushed the subject before and really they were just too young to understand it. But this year, this little guy gets it and he really wants Santa to bring him something special. See, he has been holding out for his birthday to go to the “tractor store” to pick out his birthday present, but now that he knows Santa will bring him a gift, he is asking for that green tractor he has been wanting for so long.

He sat there for over an hour writing his letter.
I have never seen him be so picky about his letters before. But I guess when you are asking for a green tractor you make sure those letters are perfect. He was so excited once he finally finished his letter.
I read his letter back to him and he quickly realized that he needed to add in that it “digs with 2 sides”. He is very particular about such things. After all, he has been wanting that tractor for 10 months now.
I just hope “Santa” knows which tractor he wants and that the “tractor store” still has it.

Just a few more days to be nice!

**I used this printable from sandy toes & popsicles.**

We have a tree!

I still cannot believe my eyes…we have a Christmas tree in our living room. Oh and we actually have a living room! I’m not sure which one I am more excited about.
Since we had very few Christmas ornaments I had to buy some at the good old Walmart. Next year we will add a bunch of handmade ones to the mix, but this year we are using store bought ones, which I have to say I love. I was so excited to see purple ones when I was scouring the shelves one day. I’m one of those people that likes to match their Christmas decorations to the rooms that they are being displayed in. I always remember my gram having the most beautiful pink Christmas tree that matched their living room. I just loved it and the nontraditional colors. I guess that is where I get it from.
So its purple and green decorations for this girl with a mixture of purple wrappings under the tree to match. Thank you TJ Maxx for the cute wrapping paper.
My tree skirt is actually a few yards of fabric just bunch up underneath the tree covering the stand. It is nothing fancy, but it works.
They may not be handmade or from Christmases past, but these ornaments are already loved by all.
It was so fun watching the kiddo’s decorate.
My son took his time picking out the best place for each ornament and carefully placed each one onto the tree.

Whereas the girls place all of their favorite ornaments all in one spot.
And continue to redecorate on a daily…or hourly basis. You can tell which ones are their favorites by where they are placed on the tree. They are always at the bottom of the tree all on the same branch.
And all of them just happen to be from a pretty special auntie and uncle.

How many of you have nontraditional Christmas trees? I know I am not the only one out there. How many of you saw this post over at tatertots and jello? I want that whimsical candy tree…adorable!!

Today was a sewing day.

Sewing days only happen about four times a year and only when I really need to get something accomplished. I let the kiddos run around like wild animals dumping out every single toy while making the biggest mess you have ever seen. They can snack when they want, play play-doh all day and just do whatever they want just as long as I get to sit and sew. Sometimes these days are a complete disaster and it leaves me wondering why I even attempted to do such a thing in the first place. But today wasn’t one of those days, the only thing that ended up being a complete disaster was my house. Surprisingly they played well together and we spent most of the day listening to Christmas music while I sat and sewed and they well…made a BIG MESS!

But it was worth it because I managed to make 7 skirts, 4 dresses and a few pairs of leggings. I made a huge dent in my Christmas list! I try to make all of my gifts, or at least the ones that I can make for. Guys are always a tough one for me. When making my list I always have a back-up store bought option just in case. For me, I would rather be up late frantically sewing then running around the stores frantically looking for something to buy. By no means are my gifts extravagant, but they have been made with love and I always put a lot of thought into them. For some Christmas shopping is the best choice, but for me Christmas crafting is the best choice…or maybe its just the best excuse to make the ones I love most a gift. Anyone interested in a bunch of ruffled fabric scraps with a few knits thrown in? I have a bag full already and I’m sure there will be more to come. Just send me an email if your interested. No cost for the fabric, just pay the shipping.
Any of you have “sewing days”? What do you do to keep the kiddo’s entertained?

Ruffle fabric is my fabric of choice this Christmas.

I have been wanting to try out some of this beautiful ruffle fabric for some time now, but the cost of it has always turned me away. Ruffle Fabric has an amazing selection of ruffle fabric but most of the fabric costs about $16.99 a yard. It is just waay too much for me. So the other day I did a quick search at fabric.com and found some for $12.98 a yard. And thanks to their Thanksgiving sale I used a 30% off coupon and ended up paying only $10.38 a yard…with free shipping of course. It is still a tiny bit more then the usual designer fabrics, but I have already been able to make 3 toddler skirts out of one yard of fabric. That is 3 Christmas presents for a mere $10.38!

I even used up some of the scraps to make some Christmas decorations. I’m telling you, I love this fabric! If you have never worked with it before it’s kinda like sewing knits, but with pretty little flowing ruffles all over it. The best part is that it does not fray! A few days after I made my first purchase I noticed that they added a pretty stone and grey color to their selection for only $6.98 a yard… $6.98! So I just had to buy a bunch of it. My fabric allowance has taken it pretty hard with this pretty little fabric, but almost all of my Christmas presents will be made for less then $150, with many yards leftover. Not bad, huh?
I’m still debating on what to do with all of the 20+ yards of ruffle fabric that I now have, but I’m pretty sure that this list here will definitely give me some inspiration. Plus I plan on making some home decor items with it and maybe a skirt or two for myself.
Any of you used ruffle fabric before? Are you just as obsessed with it as I am?

2011 Advent Calendar.

One of my favorite traditions at Christmas time is an advent calendar. (Christmas 2009)
I just love how excited the kids get everyday when they get to open a gift. (Christmas 2010)

And how they try so hard to wait til Daddy’s home before they open that little package.

(Daddy’s advent calendar 2010)

This year I decided to do a book advent calendar. We already had 20 Christmas and winter related books, so all I had to do was pick up a few more.

I love that I got to spend more time wrapping then shopping. I’m one of those crazy people that loves wrapping.
Sometimes my gifts look better on the outside then on the inside…that’s just part of the fun for me.

I used a mixture of paper, fabric, and yarn to wrap the books and just made a bunch of numbers in print shop. A little time consuming, but well worth it in my book.

Once the wrapping was done I stuck them all in this little wooden caddy.
I’m sure you all know why I wanted our advent calendar portable this year.
That’s right, my fingers are crossed that we will be opening #25 in our new living room. We are so close, yet still so many little details left to finish.

Any of you have advent calendars? Do you make a new one each year?