sweet shop birthday!

last week, my sweet and tiny newborn woke up a wild and happy 2 year old! so after pulling out an appropriate birthday girl outfit:
we put up the birthday banner from last year [i have to admit i love this thing. i hope she wants to put it up when she turns 40!] hard to get a good picture of it though:
and opened up her own little sweet shop for her cousins!

i have seen SOOO many amazingly cute renditions of the "sweet shop" birthday idea that i thought it would be perfect for our happy little girl. we had to plan it all right after a week-long trip to my grandparents, so it wasn't the most organized thing ever! but it was cute and fun and just right for a sweet family party. the perfect phrase for an invitation came to me while browsing ideas months ago, and i ended up "picniking" a fun photo just in time to email it out to everyone:
one of the projects i had to let go of due to limited time was that i wanted to make her a little paper banner over the candy saying "kenna's sweet shop" [similar to the merry christmas one last year]. but we did have a little sign directing our friends to help themselves to a goodie bag/party favor full of candies... mini boxes of nerds, smarties, hershey kisses, dum dums, jelly beans, and candy necklaces!
[still cute despite an almost-out-of-ink print cartridge!]
and the perfectly pink "piece of candy" cake!
even the newest member [until the baby gets here of course!] of our little clan got in on the celebratory action:
& of course, a few other party necessities. i made 2 dozen of these cupcake-sized rice krispy treats & we are still eating them!
there was just enough food, just enough playmates, lots of love and LOTS of candy. all in all, life is pretty good when you're turning 2!
happy birthday little one! & thanks for giving momma a reason to go a little crazy on the party themes!
[ps- we both wore super cute rosette hair clips that i got a few weeks ago at a local craft show. i can't for the life of me make those little rosettes to look right, so i bought us each one and love them! if you're looking for one, her shop is called 'inspired by kate' on etsy... hopefully she'll have some listed after the holidays!]



a delicious family,
with one more on the way.
i think i might be bogarting all the blessings, y'all. turning twenty seven today is looking pretty good so far!


little turkey for a little turkey.

before i forget & the thankful holiday is long gone, i'm thankful to have a little person [soon to be 2 little peoples!] in my life to create things for, such as this little turkey number that a certain someone wore while stuffing her face with stuffing:
if you're looking for your own sweet little something on a bib, the whole petite bee shop is waiting just for you! new christmas designs are coming soon...

ps- become a facebook friend of petite bee & you can view a whole gallery of happy bib wearers and other custom bibs i've done recently. you can even send me a photo of your happy bib wearers so i can add him or her to the gallery! love it!


turkey day cupcakes!

this year for thanksgiving, we baked up a whole army of turkeys:
i saw this idea somewhere the first thanksgiving we were married, and made them "for the kids" for thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws. unfortunately, the only kid in the family at that point was our just-turned-2 niece. needless to say, we had to help her eat the cupcakes... poor kid couldn't be expected to eat a whole dozen by herself!
here are the details, they're very cute with not too much effort!

beak- candy corn with the yellow part cut off, glued on with icing
body- chocolate cupcake with milk chocolate frosting!
head- mint milano cookie
eyes/wattle- piped chocolate icing
feathers- archway molasses cookies cut in half
i made them again this year for the kids of our sunday school class when we got together last week. kenna was thrilled to help me make them, asking for more "bites" of chocolate icing & shouting "turtee!" and there wasn't a single one left after the party. success! my precious family is certainly what i'm most thankful for, today and always.

"so then, just as you received Jesus Christ as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." -colossians 2:6-7
happy thanksgiving!


fabric stamped lampshades!

when i did a little lamp shuffling after making the pottery barn inspired lamp, i had left one of our bedside lamps naked with no shade. we used to have completely non-matching lamps because i am apparently scared of anything being too matchy-matchy, but i have seen photos everywhere of matching lamps on either sides of the bed or between twin beds that look completely fabulous. so when i got these two lampshades in excellent shape completely free, i thought i'd at least try out matching lampshades on either side of our bed.

[i tore off the thick top and bottom trim]

i've been wanting to add a touch of yellow since our room is kinda beachy, and i thought it would give a little sunshine-y feeling and a pop of color. but among all the yellow fabric from my stash, there wasn't a single piece that wasn't flowery... i wanted bold and graphic.

i had just bought some fabric paint [including yellow] to try freezer paper stenciling, and decided to really branch out and try stamping directly onto the lampshade with it. it worked out really well!

i started with these super cheap stenciling sponge brushes to make a perfect circle, and a plain old plastic juice lid to make a ring.
the stencil sponge is perfect for making a nice fat circle! i just loaded it up with paint and squished it gently with my hand inside the lampshade to give it a sturdy surface. same with the juice lid... although some of them i had to go back over once or twice to get a solid line.
i had a bit of a pattern in mind as i went, but just kind of made it up on the go. in hindsight, it probably would have worked better to sketch out a bit of a plan very lightly in pencil. it started to come together as long as i tried to keep the spacing even.
after the paint was dry, i planned to hot glued some rope-like jute to hide the torn edges where the old trim used to be, but i could never quite find exactly the trim i wanted.

so i put them in our master bedroom to see how they looked, and just couldn't get crazy about them. not loving it! sometimes [ok, often] that happens with me and my jump-in-and-go-for-it crafting style. while i thought they would be adorable for a kiddo bedroom or playroom, they just weren't doing it in the beachy-serene thing i have going in our bedroom.

i actually made these back in may... it is now november and they have sat there all these months, unfinished & totally wrong for the room. so, if you ever find yourself reading here & lamenting some unfinished project of your own, come back and have a look again at these sad, half-finished little lampshades.

ooh, and then check out craft fail, because it could make anyone feel better. i read it all the time because it usually makes me laugh that good weepy-hysterical-almost-crying laughter that feels so good. and then i do feel better.


a pretty, easy hostess gift!

i had a couple of people i wanted to bring a little something to recently as hostess gifts, so i thought i would start with a fall classic [pumpkin spice bread] & make it even fall-ier!

step 1:
make pumpkin spice bread with sarah's super easy/quick/simple recipe. i actually had everything already on hand for this! i split the recipe between these two smallish disposable loaf pans i already had too, which fit perfectly:
sidenote: enjoy your house smelling totally delicious for the next few hours during and after baking it.

step 2:
wrap the breads securely in saran wrap. if you have green or yellow saran wrap, i think that would add even more fun, but i'm cheap so all i have is clear!

step 3:
make a strip of paper that will fit somewhat tightly around the bread. i used an old book page. wrap it around & stick it down tight on the underside [or sides if it's not long enough] of the bread with double stick tape:

step 4:
pick out your favorite faux fall leaf [or a real one from your yard if you are taking it to the person the same day!] and set it in the center of the paper [i also used a little strip of double stick tape for this step]:

step 5:
wrap the whole thing right on top of the leaf with twine several times. tie it off on top of the bread with a little knot right in the center of the leaf:
presto and done! a sweet, cute little edible festive gift! you could even make several of these in one day of baking and have them on hand for a couple of days if you have multiple people to take them to... i'm planning to spend one whole day baking and make several for our neighbors for thanksgiving!
in hindsight, you could even write a cute little message on the leaf [depending on what kind of leaves they are]. i'm thinking a little something sweet & slightly cheesy like "we're thankful you're our neighbor!"



so this is what 45 sheets [and $13] of eco-felt looks like:
and this is what i look like because i'm so excited to do some crafting with that felt:
[ok, not really. that's actually last 4th of july while we were watching fireworks. but still!]

this felt is intended for lots of ornaments and some new products for leaf&letter, which is just as exciting to me! for now, here are some fun projects i've made in the past with eco-felt... love this stuff!

poinsettia ornament

flower headbands

winter/christmas tabletop trees

yarn book cover

winter star ornament

felt tree ornament

i also have two almost-finished projects where i'm using it for letters on a garland and hair for a stuffed dolly... coming soon!


pottery barn kids-esque toy storage.

i truly have a love relationship with the storage options of all kinds at pottery barn.

i mean, truly. love love love the look, hate hate hate the price!

[can i get an amen?]

however, i never expected to own any furniture from pottery barn unless i hit the lottery [which i don't play] or unexpectedly inherited a million dollars from my great aunt gladys [don't have a great aunt gladys]. but then, the shanty2chic girls showed me that with some extreme diy talent and very careful measuring, you can have a nearly identical pottery-barn-style type of furniture for literally a tenth of the price!

i decided to start small. after all, my only pottery-barn-esque experience so far has been the lovely pottery barn balls that now happily reside in a birdcage on my mantle. the inspiration was pottery barn kids' bulk bins for toy storage:
as soon as i saw these unfinished wood vegetable crates at my local michael's craft store... not to mention their $10 price tag [plus frequent 40% off coupons!] as opposed to the $99 at pbk... i decided i thought it really could be done!
i started with 6 bins since that's what the toy-designated area of our living room would accommodate. with coupons, each bin cost $5-$6 , making a total of $36 because i bought 6, and the same set-up of that many bins would have been $200 at pbk! M was ever so sweet and helped me glue them together with some wood glue- notice our lovely workout-weights weighing them down as the glue dried in our basement.
of course, after i bought the first four bins, they went out of stock and it took like six weeks to get the last two to finish it.

once i got the configuration all glued together, it was just a matter of smoothing down the sides and edges with just a bit of sandpaper errrm, a LOT of sanding, and painting them white with about 2 cans of primer and 3 of spray paint... ta-da!

toy area before:
toy area after!
[and a slight move to below the big window]
i love that the bottom layer is easily accessible to crawlers and it's sturdy enough to be pulled up on, and all the toys in it can easily be pulled out and put back away by the kiddos themselves. and now there are nice little separate bins to where each little type of toy can have a home, and my organizational/storage obsession can continue!
[now i need something on the wall up there in that one spot!]by the way, if you're feeling a little fancy and brave enough to bust out the jig saw, be sure to check out one of my absolute favorite inspiration blogs... knock off wood. the amazing writer of this blog makes replica step-by-step plans for building your own versions of lots of the pottery barn/crate and barrel/land of nod super expensive furniture. she did a version of these toy bins for under $20 in materials! although i'm a little too scared of a wood saw and prefer the glue-and-go version, i would love to see if anybody attempts this project with her amazing plans!
[ps] i keep calling them toy bins, but i also think they'd be adorable as veggie bins/a cool recycling center in the pantry!

i was so high on the success of the project that when i also saw their wood crates, i immediately thought of that cute apple crate bookshelf i wrote about a few months back:
they might need a little painting/aging/roughing up, but they could be so cute as basement wall/craft room organization! or maybe a media/tv shelf somehow?


the one where i'm glad i saved a bit of the junk.

i must admit that most days you could accurately & unabashedly call me a pack rat & it would be true. it's an inward struggle for me... wanting to be re-useful/resourceful with my house somehow magically not filling up with unused junk.

a tough balance to find.

in fact, if you saw this sitting in my craft room, i'd give you full permission to make a little fun of me [seeing as how i've almost thrown them in the recycling at least a dozen times]:
that's right... a giant ziplock bag of probably almost every baby food lid jar kenna ever ate from [confession: i saved the jars too.] for me, the absolute best way to find an amazing and clever use for some junky old thing is to throw it away and find yourself stuck saying aww i used to have one of those! so to get to the point, last night i made the first christmas ornament of the season after seeing this adorable tutorial [i also want to do the rag balls for bowl fillers and the baby fingerprint ornament!] for this one, i used a jelly jar lid instead of the little baby jar lids, mostly because it already had the beautiful red gingham design on the back [thank you, smuckers!].
it was quick and easy to put together, fun to make, and i did the whole thing while watching half a movie and chatting with my hubby who had just gotten home from work.
wait... still needs something...
much better.
and now i'm glad i saved that giant bag of jar lids.


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