I gotta tell ya……..there’s something about a simple project that really makes me happy. And yes, my sweet friends, even when a sewing machine is not included. We are finally getting to the point in our home renovations that I can start hanging things and enjoying our surroundings without those ugly extension cords, drop cloths, power tools, and construction dust. (Oh, that dust. He and I have had words……and let’s just say, our relationship is almost over. See-ya!)
Now that we are nearing the completion of several rooms (meaning…..new paint, new doors, window/door trim, baseboards, caulking, sanding, and touch-up paint), I’ve gotten hungry to fill our spaces with a little more love.
And something quick, that I put together last night, to accompany this lamp base……was this Lamp Shade.
And, well, the simplicity of it makes me REALLY happy.
And, oh gosh, those little covered buttons really make this simple shade pop. Yum. (Who says “yum” about inedible items? That’s just weird!)
I was tired of that empty table…..and we really needed extra light in this room. So, 2 wins.
Now, don’t you worry…….not a single stitch of thread was sewn into this shade. So you don’t even need to plug that ol’ sewing machine in.
And even if someone stands above the shade and peeks in, they’ll only see clean lines and edges.
And for those of you who know I have three little ones, you’re probably wondering about that breakable ceramic bird sitting on those books. Haha! Yeah, that bird doesn’t stand a chance (have I told you about my mischievous 2 year old yet??) and actually normally sits up on a higher shelf. I just just haven’t decided what to add to that table……so the bird and books are helping me out for the moment. I’ll keep you posted if I come up with something fun.
Oh, sweet lamp. Thanks for sitting there so pretty. And with minimal effort. Yay!!!!!!
Would you like to make your own Lamp Shade with Cover Buttons?
I know, I know……what happened to Thanksgiving?!?! Well, I’m not skipping it, just getting a little head start on my Christmas tree this year!
And that’s because Michael’s contacted me and asked if I would participate in their Dream Tree Challenge (#JustAddMichaels campaign) and decorate a Christmas Tree, using supplies from their store. Uhhhh……”YES, pretty please!” No arm twisting here. Now that Halloween’s over……..I’m itching for all of the Christmas love to begin. And hey, thanks to this little challenge, I’ve now got a nice little kick start to my holiday decorating. (Come on guys, join me! It feels great!!)
So, I received my 7 foot pre-lit Willow Christmas Tree in the mail and headed to my local Michael’s Craft Store (with a gift card in hand) and browsed around a while, trying to decide on vibrant colors or muted? Harsh textures or soft? Stars, angels, or a big bow at the top?? Hmmmmmm. I don’t mind shopping one bit, so I browsed and browsed and browsed.
And finally decided on this:
A bit of sparkle, touches of soft, some rough, and pretty muted in color…
And a sparkly gold star to sit on top.
To be honest, I have never filled up a tree so full of trimmings………but once I started adding, I couldn’t stop. And ended up loving all the details on my little tree.
And those two little “rein”deer are a welcome addition to our family. Chloe sneaks them and tries pushing them in a stroller, while Elli dances with them while singing, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. I, however, like them to sit right by the tree. We all know I’ll just “pretend” to notice the reindeer-napping…..because the sneaking of the reindeer only means my girls are just as excited for Christmas as I am. :)
And one little itty bitty confession…….Christmas music has now been granted access to our home. We try to wait until after Thanksgiving (which rarely happens anyway…), but who can decorate a tree without your favorite Music tunes?!! Not me.
And yes, she’s just as beautiful at night. Ahhhhhhh……….I adore the warmth of those lights, causing everything to glow.
Oh, little Christmas tree. I adore you.
And thank you Michael’s. What a treat this was!
(However, now my kiddos are asking me every hour how many days until Christmas. Thanks a lot!!! ;) )
Oh, and by the way, I’ll be back later this week, sharing a little tutorial on something that I made using my supplies from Michael’s. Yay!
And just so you know……
- Michaels has a large selection of pre-lit high-tip count artificial trees ranging in size from 4 ft. to 7.5 ft. and all the way up to 9 ft. They even come in different shapes, from skinny to full and in-between with some smaller trees coming in different color options
- Each tree purchased at Michaels comes with a 5 year tree warranty and a 2 year warranty on the lights
- Stop by your local Michaels November 3 through November 9 for a special tree event
- The Michaels Décor Guide has tons of ideas and projects to make spreading the holiday cheer throughout your house easy. Navigate through the online version, download a copy, or pick up one at your local Michaels!
Michael’s supplied the tree and supplies to create a tree of my own choice, however, all opinions stated are my own…….and I only promote products I love. -Ashley
First of all, is October really over? Is it truly November?!?! I’m still having a hard time digesting that Thanksgiving/Christmas is right around the corner. Crazy.
Second of all…..sorry I didn’t post this year’s Virtual Halloween Costume Parade. Yesterday, was, hmmmmmm……crazy!! So, let’s just pretend that the real reason that I didn’t post yesterday, was to allow time for stragglers who still needed time to post their pictures. (In fact, I think I will always wait until the day after, so that all of you have time to share. There were several of you who added your photos yesterday and even this morning. Perfect!)
Now, let’s chat about all of you clever sewists. (Or glue gun-ists!!) This year was PHENOMENAL!! So many great ideas! SO MANY darling costumes! I mean, really……how could I narrow it down to only a few of you. So, you’re all going up on the blog today.
Now, go on……gawk away! And then applaud! Because these costumes are going to make you smile a big huge smile. :)
(If I could squeeze you all, I would. And you can consider me a very proud friend of yours!!!!!)
(It took me a second to figure this one out, so in case you’re the same way…..they’re the Royal Family. Now that you know that, they’re so SPOT ON, huh?! LOVE THIS! And that Queen of England kills me!!)
**If I somehow missed someone, let me know. Totally my error! :)
Wow, wow, and WOW!!!!! I am in LOVE with them all! And am so happy that other moms/grandmas/neighbors/friends are crazy like I am, and will lose hours of sleep/chores/relaxation to put a costume(s) together. So. Much. Fun!!!!!!
Thanks again for sharing! Until next year…
Don’t forget to join in on the Virtual Costume Parade this year! I know some of you are still making your costumes..……but once they’re finished, upload your images to the YOU Made It and LOVE It Flickr account. Then, I will grab them from that account and will share them here TOMORROW!!! (The deadline to get the pictures uploaded to flickr is tonight. Around midnight (MST) or so… Deal??
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I meant to post this a few days ago…..but some of you have been asking to see the whole ‘Tangled’ crew together.
Well…….here you go!
And in case you’re wondering……..these three are the silliest of friends!
However, it hasn’t always been that way.
You see, this Flynn guy was actually a thief on the loose. ((Boo. Hiss.))
He was shocked when the castle’s guards figured out it was he, who had stolen the princess’ crown.
Flynn was worried that people would recognize him, so he tried removing every last “wanted” poster throughout the land.
However, he missed one.
And Rapunzel and Pascal were completely confused by it.
Rapunzel had trusted Flynn……so she was pretty angry with him when she realized it was him on this poster.
He denied all accusations……but Rapunzel still didn’t believe him. And pulled out her most powerful weapon of all:
While Flynn was knocked out on the ground, Rapunzel had a heart to heart with Pascal…..and they decided they should probably give this Flynn guy another chance.
So they set off to wake him….and tell him the great news!
See? He’s not such a bad guy after all. (And haha….Pascal’s got some killer dance moves!!)
And that’s how these guys became great friends!
**Yeah, the story line’s off a bit…..just go with it! :)
And, like years past (and the biggest reason it has taken me ALL day to post this…….ack!!)
I considered not making one (because I had to relearn iMovie from the last time I used it…..and was running out of time) but then I remembered how much my kids watch the past Halloween Costume movies that I have made. So, I hurried and put it together. Which I’m so glad I did……because I now remember that it’s my favorite part too!
So, turn up that sound, make the screen large, and enjoy!
-Ashley (and the little ‘Tangled’ crew)
The winner of the Babies R Us/Pampers $200 giveaway was posted this morning. Was it you??
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First of all……and in case you missed it, the “Tangled” costumes are finally finished. And were posted last week. Ahhhhh……..so glad (and relieved) they’re done. Because maybe now I can make normal dinners again! But all was worth it because these kiddos of mine can hardly wait until the Halloween! :)
Second of all……just like in years past, I’m totally excited to see have a little Virtual Halloween Costume Parade…….so I (and everyone else) can see what YOU all are making! (Here are the costume parades from 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.) On the 31st, I plan on sharing your Handmade Halloween costumes here on my blog, that you and/or your kiddos are wearing this year. And no, they don’t have to be made by you…….maybe a friend/neighbor/grandma/etc. helped you out. Go on, share it! Anything handmade needs a little extra love. So, I’ll be sharing them here! :)
SO……upload your images to the YOU Made It and LOVE It Flickr account. Then, I will grab them from that account and will share them here on Halloween. (The deadline to get the pictures uploaded to flickr is October 30th. Deal??)
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And last of all………have you noticed a new little something popping up on your screen lately?
You may have noticed that my home page darkens a bit and a little note will pop up, sharing some news that I have a new “email subscription” now. And a few lines where you can sign up.
In case you missed the above box on your screen (or didn’t know what it was and hurried and clicked away from it!!)…….you can find the form by clicking on a link on my sidebar that looks like this:
So why am I doing this?!?!
A few months ago, I mentioned on my blog that I was a little freaked out that Feedburner was calling it quits and I began asking for ideas for a good replacement. Great news……that time has come!! I have found an even better replacement. (So, good riddance stinkin’ Feedburner!) Actually, I’m pretty excited about this change because it got my brain thinking a bit and I’m going to spice things up with these emails just a bit.
If you were previously subscribed through Feedburner, be sure to re-subscribe because your old subscription will expire.
But if you’re new to this whole “subscribing” thing…..let me tell you what subscribing through email means:
- Notification that there’s a new post up on my blog. No need to miss out on any of those, right?!! ;)
- More interaction and maybe some polls, helping me decide between making a bed skirt ruffle and a baby bonnet. Both may be things I’m dying to make…..but I might as well make the one that most people would like to see, first. (You know, kinda like you’re knocking on my door and saying, “Help! Show me how to finish off this crazy hem, before I throw it out the window.” And then, I yank you inside my home, and say, “of course!”)
- Extra tidbits of goodness. I’m really excited about this because sometimes I’d love to share a few things that I’ve learned or figured out…..but sometimes feel silly creating a whole post about it. So get ready for them!
- And how about some FREEBIES! I can’t help but consider this one my favorite things about the changes in the emails being sent out. And I’ll probably just throw them out randomly because one of my favorite things in life is a good surprise. (However, I don’t really like being surprised as much as I like to do the surprising. Weird, I know.)
In fact, the first freebie is a PDF pattern, sent right out to anyone who signs up to be on the email list. Why not?!! It’ll be an exclusive pattern, not found on the blog. Just a fun little something for those who sign up. :)
Anyway, I can honestly say that I never knew how much I would end up adoring this whole blogging thing. I had no clue about the things I’d learn, the people I’d meet, and the opportunities I’d have. But truly, it’s because of the enthusiasm of readers like you that keeps me so excited to continue. Some people are into book groups, others are into throwing holiday parties and some are involved in cooking groups. However, my thing is sewing and crafting (okay, and a little bit of baking/cooking)……..and then chatting about it. That’s where the blog comes in. It’s like we’re having our own little craft group, right here at my house. Hey, I can pretend, right? :)
But really, thanks for all the blog love and for sharing with me your own project accomplishments. It always makes me smile.
So, hurry on over and add your name to my new email list. (And soon after, you’ll receive a link to download your first freebie.)
Okay, YAY, we’ll chat soon…
Okay……time to announce the WINNER of the $200 Gift Card to Babies R Us/Pampers.
(Sorry it took a few days to announce this……….those costumes took over the blog for a few days!)
So……let’s get to it. One of you has some SHOPPING to do! :)
Okay, I always let random.org do the hard part for me.
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2013-10-28 15:42:04 UTC
And who is commenter #1112??
I liked your post on facebook :)
Congratulations Tien! I’m going to send you an email right now with more information. :)
And thanks to everyone for participating!
If you’re looking for the Babies R Us/Pampers Giveaway WINNER…….I’ll post it on Monday. Deal??
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Okay, the 3rd and final costume is ready for this year’s Halloween.
They both turned out so fun………I can hardly look at them without grinning/gushing/laughing. And both Connor and Elli were just as thrilled. Whew!
But my third little one, Chloe, doesn’t quite have an opinion yet. I thought she’d see Elli’s dress and want to be a “PRINCESS”! But she didn’t…….so I continued on with the plan my older two requested.
And that was to make Chloe the silly and animated little Chameleon, Pascal.
She kinda….. Ate. It. Up. This little Chloe of mine is the hammiest of all hams. And she took her role seriously! :)
And those eyes on that hat……I think they are my favorite thing about the whole costume!
Chloe’s favorite part??
That while doing her famous “shake your bum-bum” dance………her tail does its own little dance behind her. So while dancing in her Pascal costume, she now says, “shake your tail-tail, shake your tail-tail…“.
She’s a nut, this one. :)
**Sorry for the grainy look…..animated .gif images always do that. Anyone know why?
This Pascal costume is completely made of fleece……so yeah, kinda perfect for a cool Halloween night. The hands and feet are connected to the sleeves and pant legs….but are strapped in place with elastic.
The costume zips up in the back (don’t be afraid of zippers!!) and the main bodice is slightly stuffed with batting (to give the torso added roundness and some shape) and is cinched in at the bottom with a little elastic. (Oh wait….look a little familiar? Yep, the bodice is very similar to the Penguin Costume from a few years ago.)
Once your little one slips into their Pascal costume…..they’ll know what to do! :)
I was actually worried that Chloe would take her hat off….but I think she’s now old enough to think it’s fun.
In fact, she did the opposite. She kept pulling it down over her eyes, so the eyeballs would be in the right place.
…which resulted in THIS:
We laughed and LAUGHED and laughed (and I’m laughing again just looking at these pictures)…..and would ask her to do it again. And again. And again.
She would. We would laugh. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
After a while, she tried peering at us under her hat, trying to figure out why exactly, this was so funny.
Ha! Little turkey.
Oh, yes, you are so fuuuuuunny!
Now, go and find Rapunzel……she’s around here somewhere. And Flynn? He isn’t so bad, once you get to know him! :)
I’m so happy you’re enjoying dressing up little Chloe……because these years will pass too quickly, I’m sure!
Want to make your own Pascal??
Thanks for all the love for that little Rapunzel Costume I shared the other day.
It really was a fun dress to make…….and I seriously appreciate all those sweeter than sweet comments. Someone even emailed me and asked if I could adopt her, so that I could make her dresses too. (Yep Susan, I’m totally talking about you…ha!) I seriously laughed right out loud. And then told her if she cleaned her room without asking, she was totally welcome to join the Johnston family. (Because maybe she’d rub off on my kids!!)
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Anyway, you know I was just excited to move on to the next costume in the Tangled group.
And…….oh, my heart.
Seeing Connor is his little costume makes me melt. And laugh. And feel completely satisfied with sewing.
Oh gosh, this little Flynn Rider wins me right over! :)
Just don’t look to closely……or this little Flynn will try and capture your heart through his smolder.
(It’s too late for me…ha!)
Connor was completely excited to play the part of the adventurous Flynn. (And was equally thrilled when I used some eyeliner to draw on his goatee.)
The costume isn’t an exact replica……but it’s pretty darn close. And with each detail, my smile grew wider and wider……so happy that it was actually turning out. (I LOVE that feeling of complete surprise!)
And yeah, the frying pan was totally Rapunzel’s thing……but I bought a teeny little egg pan, just for effect. That way, there was no mistaking that this kid was Flynn Rider from ‘Tangled’…..and not just some other boy costume. Oh, and Flynn didn’t actually carry around a sword either. But Connor threw out a request……and his daddy was THRILLED to make him one. (That husband of mine never ignores a request for such things!) So just go with it… :)
However, Flynn DID carry around a satchel. And don’t you dare call this a purse….because Connor will correct you in a heartbeat. And will tell you that this is his SATCHEL.
Oh, and the pants were a very simple elastic waist design. And the boots? Oh, those are borrowed from his big sister. (Hey, it works!)
And all of that together…….we have the most handsome little Flynn ever. (Unless you’re making a Flynn costume for your own little guy…..then yours will be the cutest Flynn ever!)
Now, Flynn’s on a mission. And that may or may not involve stealing something.
Success……..the crown has been stolen!! :)
But that darn Rapunzel…….she tricked poor Flynn and hid the crown from him.
And so he was forced to take her back through the forest, to see the lanterns. (Don’t tell Rapunzel…..but we all know that Flynn was kinda thrilled with the idea from the very beginning.)
Sweet Connor. You have such a vibrant imagination.
Now, go enjoy your costume as you fight your way back to the palace, escape being captured, and win the heart of that dear Rapunzel.
Would you like to make your own Flynn Rider costume??
I have been looking forward to this for a while. Well, since last year’s Red Riding Hood Halloween Costumes. Dress-ups and costumes are my favorite things to sew……and that’s because costumes are purely for play. And can be extra sparkly, obnoxious, and frilly. And the judges (the kiddos who wear them) are super chill. Missed a seam? Who cares. Sewed a crooked line? Meh….no biggee! Made it a little too short? No one will notice.
The only one who cares are the little ones who wear them….and all they care about is if it somewhat resembles what they had in mind. So, you can instantly become a hero……with minimal effort! And then, as you practice sewing more and more projects, you’ll get better and better. See? Totally a fun (and lower stress level) time to sew.
Anyway……each year that I’ve made Halloween Costumes, I have somehow been able to keep my kids within a theme. I swore that last year would be the last year that we allow that to happen. But……I’m pretty sure they think that’s just what you do. You know, that you have to pick something that would mesh well with your siblings/family. I have overheard Elli and Connor planning themes for months, and once they think of costumes that wouldn’t allow for their little sister Chloe to participate, they X that idea. It’s sweeter than sweet. And I have even told them that they can do things that are completely different from each other…….but they always gravitate back towards doing something that will include all 3 of them. (Maybe it’s because these costumes go in the dress-up pile after Halloween is through and my kiddos love to all 3 dress up together and play for hours and hours…)
So, this year (and after many theme changes)……my kiddos were pretty certain they wanted to be Wizard of Oz characters. However, about a week and a half go, they changed their mind AGAIN and since I hadn’t bought anything yet, I went with it. Some things I would hold firm to…..but for Halloween? I’ll let them be fickle! :)
So this year……..Tangled won my kids’ vote!! (And it sounds like many of you have chosen the same!)
Let me just say……..Elli was THRILLED to be Rapunzel.
And she got right to work and began rolling around in the grass…….because, well, that’s what Rapunzel did.
She even ran around with no shoes on for a while (even though it was 50 degrees outside)……because, well, Rapunzel did that too.
She even thought it was pretty hilarious to use a frying pan. She kept saying that she needed a Flynn Rider to swing at. :)
I tried to stay as close to Rapunzel’s dress as I could. And it’s a good thing…….because Elli kept pointing out things and would say, “No mommy, her dress isn’t like that!“ So…..puffy striped sleeves???? Check.
Laced corset??? Check. (I even laced it the opposite way with the bow at the bottom at first……and guess who noticed and asked me to switch it? Yep, she’s serious about this dress-up thing. Ha!)
And this hair……ahhhhhh! This turned out to be so fun for Elli to wear. We decided to make her a brunette Rapunzel so that she didn’t have to wear a full wig. And also so that it would look more like her real hair. And she LOVED it!!
The hair is actually several hair extension pieces attached together…….and looks and feels pretty real. I’ll share more details down below…….but Rapunzel isn’t Rapunzel without long locks of hair! :)
The skirt is nice and full…..and spin-able. Always a requirement for my Elli.
And since it’s kinda chilly, she put some leggings on, as well as a little pettiskirt to help poof out the dress a little…..but not too much.)
My sweet little 6 year old.
Happy in her own little fantasy world of climbing trees, rolling in the grass, and swinging her frying pan……just like Rapunzel!
Would you like to make your own Rapunzel dress??
Looking for the Pampers/Babies R Us $200 giveaway?? Don’t worry…..it’s still going! (ends 10/23/13 at 11:59 p.m. MST)
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I am thiiiiiiiis close to being done with my kiddos’ Halloween costumes. And not just the simple costume ideas I was doing throughout the month (which I have a few more of……but this month is passing by WAY too quickly). I’m talking about the real ones that my little monkeys requested, after changing their minds a trillion times. Even though the costumes were more of a time commitment, I couldn’t say no. This is my favorite time of year to sew more elaborately!
And let me just tell you………my heart is doing lots of flippin’ and floppin’! Because seeing these little ones of mine slipping into their costumes……it’s magical! And just makes me laugh! Haha……it’s just too cute!!!!
Anyway, I just need to take some pictures of my kids actually IN the costumes after they come home from school today…..and then I’ll start sharing how to make all of these costumes, starting tomorrow.
Elli’s costume will be first. Any guesses?
And if that didn’t give it away…….this surely will! :)
I’ll be back tomorrow. Can’t wait!!!!!