I am not sure why but I am feeling so behind this Holiday season. I really wanted to sew everyone something for a fun holiday picture, but I am so running out of time. So, last week I picked up a few things for the boys and hurried and made one outfit that is always simple but still has cute style. I decided to do black, white or red for everyone this year–because classic is always good in my opinion
I decided that I was going to wear and older black dress and I made the little black skirt for Hannie to go along with it. The skirt is the same tutorial that I always use for a tightly gathered skirt–The Vintagely Modern Skirt TUTORIAL– and the only difference is the side invisible zipper that you can see in the above picture. Now that my girlie is getting a bit older, I am finding myself putting in a lot more zippers, but when she was so little and growing out of clothes every six month, I sometime felt zippers were a waste. I have an invisible zipper tutorial that I use all the time to show you how to put one in if you need it.
The fabric is black cotton from Michael Miller Fabrics and has a great drape. It holds its shape so well and makes for a very full and twirly skirt. I used just about 2.5 yards for this skirt and she does have a full slip under it to puff it out a bit….and I love the way it looks with the fitted blouse.
Speaking of that blouse…
I used a vintage pattern for it that I ADORE!!!! I think it turned out so, so, so cute and really really want to modify a blouse pattern in my size. I know it’s vintage, but I think the shirt looks so modern and fresh. The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen that is brilliant and
Although do you see my mistake? It’s what happens when I sew in the wee hours of the morning. The sleeves are sewn on backwards! See how the placket is in the front? ARGHHHH….and I didn’t even realize it until I started editing these photos ;( So, for now my blaring mistake is staying…until January…
With Christmas coming Elizabeth and I were talking about the toys our kids have loved and which ones definitely didn’t live up to the hype. And what we found is that our lists are very similar…especially in the “most played with” category.
So if you still have some last minute shopping to do…here are a few toys that, from experience, we would suggest:
It’s big fun for the little artists without a big mess.
(And my kids also love it’s cousin The Magnadoodle as well…Ruth plays with hers all the time! I love it because there is no mess, a big area to draw on and the magic pen is attached so it won’t get lost. Genius.)
There are many wooden train sets to choose from, and really they are all very similar. But the bottom line is it won’t matter what brand you choose, your kids will love them.
We have one set up under the tree right now because Ruth kept dragging it around and I wanted a place to set it up and leave it up for a few weeks. Elizabeth on the other hand has hers set up on permanently on a table in her basement. Her boys have loved their trains!
This may be one of the most played with item in the house. It has been on our fridge and magnet boards for years and no one can leave it alone. Anyone who comes over just has to move the pieces around and try running the marbles through it.
Our boys have eaten up these Snap Circuit sets…and they are really amazing. It is always fun to set them up and get the fan to turn or the bell to ring. Simon even figured out how to use to change the frequency on his alarm clock radio with these things! They are so much fun and there are several different kits to choose from.
Our kids have just rediscovered what I used to love as a kid…spirograph. It’s fun and quiet and cool. All your kids will need is this and a stack of paper to keep them entertained for a long, long time!
This was one of the coolest gifts ever. My mom gave Simon one of these and the whole family ate it up! We ordered ants twice! It was so interesting to watch the ants dig and work. (We already have another one on it’s way!)
These little hand held wooden toys have suddenly become all the rage. It’s a simple game of skill for one person to practice….but if someone is playing kendama…then everyone has to try…even me…because I know if I just try one more time….
So there is our list. We should tell you at this point that they all link to amazon because they are one of our affiliates but, we also want to say that we do really love all of these toys…because our kids love and play with them. We own all of the exact items that we listed above. Some we have even purchased more than once because they really do get played with.
With that said, happy shopping…to you and me. I literally have nothing ready for Christmas (except for a pair of roller skates for Grace and I) so I need to get my act together…and Elizabeth tells me that whatever I order on line I can still have shipped to my house before Christmas. So I need to get to gettin’!
I needed some easy teacher’s gifts for the Holidays this year…and have kind of made it a tradition to do a handmade gift and then a gift card for school supplies. So when the Jo-Ann’s #MakeItGiveIt campaign came along, I knew it would be the perfect match. I wandered through the store and found some amazing cream premium wool felt and knew it would make the perfect pillows for my kids’ teachers. And since pillows are easy….it was a perfect afternoon project!
Here is what you will need if you want to make some easy felt Christmas pillows too!
Today we have a simple and easy gift or craft that you can make in an afternoon and you probably have all of the supplies at home to make them!
Do you know those loose silk poinsettias that sometimes hang out in the bottom of the Christmas bins? You know the ones that fell off from the year before? Well, now you can use those to craft with! Here’s how I used some leftover poinsettia flowers to make this easy DIY Poinsettia Hair Clip…
Even as I’m writing this I am snuggled under a quilt made by my mother-in-law.
If you were to come into my home right now you’d find it littered with handmade blankets….they are on my children’s beds, on my bed, thrown over chairs, left on couches, filling my closets…and they range from no sew fleece blankets to pieced and hand quilted heirlooms.
And I love every single one of them!
I think it may have something to do with being raised by a mother and grandmother who made blankets…for babies, for weddings, for graduations….basically any of life’s milestone’s called for a quilt.
I have vivid memories of playing under quilt frames set up in front rooms and of watching my mother and grandmother tacking the fabric and turning the quilts…so you can imagine my excitement when recently my husband finished making a pile of these:
And because the very first set he finished is for me I am more than excited!
This weekend I plan to put on my own quilt in my my own family room and hopefully help my girls make some of their own memories of playing beneath the quilt frames.
This post is for you….well, not really, it’s really for your husband. And my husband. And liZ’s husband. See, all we have to do now is casually leave this post up on all of our computers (well, that’s my plan—he seldom reads what’s going on over here) and maybe one of these items will magically appear in my stocking
Do you think it will work? (I have my fingers crossed.)
So, some of items are things that I have used over the past year…and some are items that I have on my “want” list. And the best part is that each of these gifts cost under $20—so even if the budget is a bit tight—these stocking stuffers for the sew-er definitely won’t break the bank.
**(Just so you know that the links below are affiliate links–we do get a percentage if you order through the link—but we only picked things that we thought were super well-priced and things we actually use or would endorse ;)** Continue reading →
One of my very favorite cookies this time of year are these pecan-filled cookies. Number one, because I love pecans…and number two because they remind me of pecan sandies my grandma used to buy as a kid. They are delicious!
My husband and I are very lucky…my husband teaches school and I am a stay at home mom which means that we are both currently doing exactly what we want to do. Like I said, we are very lucky indeed.
But around this time of year we notice (to put it delicately) that we aren’t as well off financially as we would have been if we had chosen other career paths. And that makes it difficult to buy gifts for others.
Which means year after year we make a pact with each other not to spend any money on ourselves (so that we will have funds to spend on our kids and other family members). But this pact hasn’t stopped us from finding a way to have something to give each other on Christmas morning.
And after 16 years of marriage (we married young!) I feel that our holiday financial situation may have been a blessing in disguise..we’ve been forced to think about each other and what is most important. Sure, one of these years I’d love to have iPads, televisions, bikes, and the like under the tree but I can say without any reservation that even though we don’t have money I have never gone to bed on Christmas night feeling poor.
So this year as I’ve been thinking about what to do for my husband I thought maybe I would share with you some of the gifts, we’ve given to our kids, our family members, and each other. Because when I reflect on my most favorite gifts they are the ones that have cost virtually nothing.
The following list is a collection of some of our favorites: