Saturday, April 27, 2013

Owls + Puff Quilt + Diaper Cake = Best New Baby Gift Ever

One of my friends is having a new baby soon very soon, and he just couldn't come into the world without a having dozen embellished prefold diapers/burp-cloths to soil and owlish puff quilt to snuggle on.

I fell in love with these owl prints I found at Joann's (The fabric line is called "Night Owl Club" and I have officially used all that I have.  I am now trying to think of an excuse to buy more!).  Baby couldn't spit up on anything cuter, and I love a good prefold diaper cake. 

  This quilt.  Oh, this quilt was hard to let go.  The puffs are so "fluffly" to quote Natalie, and between the puff and the owls and the soft n fluffy border I just about died.  LOVE, just love it.

I perused the web for tutorials, and ended up getting blogger after blogger referring me to buy the pattern at Honeybear Lane.  Let me say, I'm not usually a "buy the pattern" kind of girl. I usually just wing it.  Two things made me buy the pattern in the end, 1) I was on a time crunch, and it would have taken longer to figure it all out myself. 2) I wanted a quilt just like the ones she makes.

The pattern is wonderful.  I didn't change up too much, but  I did try to accommodate my time constraints. I used the rag puff quilt technique to eliminate the need for binding/backing and extra steps.

The clipping seemed to last forever, but it is awfully cute.  I would recommend not using the ragging technique with the soft n fluffy in the future.  I spent half of my life trying to get rid of all the little threads that stuck to that fluff in the wash.  A normal minky probably would have turned out a little better.  All in all, love the puff quilts. I've already got visions of two more dancing in my heads for friends who are expecting :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Princess Dress Up Party

My Natalie just celebrated her 4th birthday!  Complete with self-performed haircut just 2 weeks before the event.  I suppose most preschoolers do it at some point, but still, she cut off all of her hair.

Sigh.  I was totally heartbroken for a few days.  Then I got over the shock that was hitting me every time I looked at her and realized she had grown up.  She wanted to make more decisions for herself.    My opinions and desires do not trump her own.  I've never attempted to force things on her, she dresses herself in clothes that don't match, pink and red are her favorite colors so she looks like a red hat lady half the time :), she plays with whatever toys she likes, and makes plenty of her own choices. I thought I was doing a great job at raising her to be free and independent.  She had asked me on several occasions to cut her hair short, and I would trim it a little bit, loving her long hair too much to cut it all off.  I had tricked myself into thinking that she loved her own long hair, but she actually didn't want it.  She took matters into her own hands, and I have resolved to listen to my strong willed, all grown up, 4 year old daughter.

Anyways,  she wanted a "Princess Dress Up Party" for her birthday, and requested a "down low" Snow White princess dress as her birthday present.  I did my best to make it happen!

 The dress was my first experiment with a peasant style princess dress.  I wanted it to have a very twirly skirt, so I added a circle skirt to the bottom of the peasant top.  It worked out alright, but it does sit a little funny at the waistline.
 It is super twirly! And meets the "down low" requirement as in almost reaches the floor.
 And she loves it!

To make her day extra fun I did a little decorating to the playroom.  Tulle transformed out chairs into thrones.

We made princess cupcakes that I had the kids decorate themselves.

Natalie chose Snow White, of course.
 And promptly started to eat her princess on the cob

She loved the dress, and the cupcakes, and the thrones, and the two dozen balloons hanging from the ceiling, but her favorite thing by far was the cardboard castle.  Now I saw this cardboard castle playhouse and knew that it would be perfect.  When I saw it I fell in love with it, it was so fancy!  Then a couple minutes minutes later I went from "Oh that's really fancy!" to "Oh.  That's really fancy."  It is awesome and amazing, but I don't have room for a huge castle playhouse nor do I want to spend $50+  and hours upon hours of time on a cardboard playhouse that I don't have room to keep up around.  Here is my version of a cardboard castle.   It cost me $5.00, some duct tape, and 3 hours of my time.

 I picked up 2 extra large (22"x22"21") moving boxes and 1 small (16"x12"x12") moving box from Home Depot.  I turned them inside out, taped up all the seams, added the arch using the small box, and then cut out the squares on the top for the battlements, cut the doors, and cut the windows. 

 The structure was still not very sturdy.  I taped squares and triangles of cardboard to the corners of the boxes to act as L brackets and make the structure more sturdy.  Like so

I also taped the castle to the floor and the wall. 

As an added bonus, I left the castle to be a blank canvas for all the kids to enjoy decorating.  Natalie chose to draw long lines representing Rapunzel's hair coming down from the castle.

Happy birthday Natalie!  You are the most amazing, independent, brilliant, sassy, and fun daughter I could have.  Love you to pieces :)