Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I WANT a t.v. in our bedroom.  What a luxury it would be to fall asleep watching a great show or movie while all snuggled down in my OWN BED.  One of the many things I love about staying in hotels is that I can watch t.v. in bed.  My husband?  Not so much.  He does not want a t.v. in our room.  SO I stayed up all night watching infomercials in our old house, SO "they" say a t.v. in your bedroom hurts a marriage, SO I got even LESS sleep when we had the t.v. in our room...  Doesn't one night of a Criminal Minds marathon and 3 am skin care packages (I mean, EVERYTHING you could need for only $29.99?!  And how can you turn off the workout package infomercial before you see the AFTER shots of the women being interviewed?!) make the purple under eye smudges and general crankiness worth it all!?

My husband gets a huge mark on his side because of the goofy size and shape of our bedroom.  A t.v. wouldn't really fit in there very well....  UNLESS!!  Unless we bought one of these corner tv stands from CSN stores (one of my online faves)!

It really is too, too unfair. For me. What would make me feel better? A little indulgence, that's what. And I'm going to share the indulgence with YOU. You get to pick between 2 lovely things from the yummy Allmodern part of CSN stores. YOU choose between this gorgeous Thomas Paul 10.5 inch Peacock Pouch:
OR because I love, love, love Alvar Aalto, and Iittala, you can win this 5.5 inch high Water Green Bowl:

What do YOU have to do to win?  Simply respond to this post in the comments section (don't forget to let me know how to contact you!).  Want ANOTHER entry?  Subscribe to our Facebook page (and leave a comment under this post on that page to let me know you did.)  AND get another entry by posting this on twitter.  Finally ("STOP IT" you are saying, I KNOW!!), post in YOUR blog about this and get ANOTHER entry.  Phew.  That is a lot of entries.  We'll pick a winner Monday, May 3rd at noon.  I hope you enjoy!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Pillowcase Craft for the Girls.

A princess who is about to sit on a pea, really needs a pillow.  And a princess who is going to have a pillow, really should be able to decorate it herself so she will always remember the super fun party she attended with her darling friends.  I thought, "how EASY!  I'll just whip up a simple pillow case for each girl!"  It turned into more of a project than that, but I think they ended up great, and it was worth it!  A simple pillowcase just wasn't enough, so I found a pattern I had in a book here to do a "flange pillow cover" sort of like this.  I have a ton of extra muslin, so I made all of the pillows out of it.  I didn't have as many large pieces as I thought, so I ended up sewing strips together to MAKE the large squares... = time consuming, but free.  We bought 10 little blue pillows from IKEA that are about $1 a piece.  These say they are 14"x14" but the ones I used were 13" square if that is possible.  I made one 19.5"x19.5" square, and two 19.5"x13" rectangles for each pillow.  The two rectangle pieces each got a double hem (that is my term for pressing 1/4" under, then again, and sewing a line down the second turn), then the two hemmed pieces are sewn right sides together to the large rectangle, and that is it!  Here is the "double hem":
I pressed all of the remaining pillows (after my prototypes) at once, then sewed all of the hems:
After sewing all of the pieces together, the directions said to mark a border around each pillow to sew along for the flange, but that is way too complicated for me.  I seemed to have trouble remembering that half inch on the 19 1/2 inch side, so the pillowcases were all a little off.
I solved that by making a template out of muslin the size of the pillows and pinning it to each finished case - I just eyeballed the placement, then topstitched around it for the "flange".
First I thought we'd use some puff paint sort of pens, but they were SO gloppy and sputter-y and would take SO long to dry, so I went for these great pens instead.  I found glitter pens and solid colors and they were very easy for them to use.  The pens said it would take 4 hours to dry, so we did them first thing (after a couple of minuts, though, they were fine to touch.)
Here is sweet Miss T. showing her finished pillow.
And here is a final pillowcase WITH a pillow inside.  A friend of mine said she had girls decorate pillows for the birthday girl - so the birthday girl got to keep them all and adorn her new day bed.  I think that is a great idea, too!

A perfect pillow for a princess to avoid any errant peas.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PERFECT Mother's Day Card!

This is the perfect mother's day card from afavorite on etsy.  Not only is it incredibly great looking, it is SO TRUE!  I love "nutritionist" and "tutor"!  I adore letter press - this is two color - and it comes with the manila envelope!  And check out the rest of their great cards.  LOVE it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Princess and the Pea...

The Princess and the Pea
I've FOUND the original photo that inspired me to make our invitations! When I wrote the original post I couldn't find her again, but searching tonight, I did! I found this lovely set of mattresses this super talented crafter made for a friend, and then promptly lost it. I did, however, have the image in my mind through the entire planning of the party. I had intended to make a set for my princess for her birthday present, but after sewing 10 pillows for 10 princesses - which I'll post later - I was DONE. Maybe one day...

AND the day before our party, I realized I didn't OWN a single copy of the story of the Princess and the Pea, and how on earth was I going to tell 10 girls the story?! We ran to our favorite book store, A Children's Place, they dug through a brand newly arrived box, only to find this perfect book:
The Princess and the Pea
And now that I've found Viola and Pearl again, I see the book was HER inspiration! Oh my....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Princess Party Crowns: A Craft Event.

In order to be a proper princess, even one who is only recognized after sleeping on a pea (see invitation below), one really must have a crown. I don't like to ask anything TOO, too much of party guests - the idea of someone feeling left out for any reason is too much for me, and the thought of someone feeling inadequately dressed is the worst. I DO, however, love dress up parties! (My son's birthday is 3 days before Halloween, so we've had LOTS of fun dressing up!) Therefore, my favorite thing to do is have the favors and crafty events help dress up the guests. This time I found these darling crowns on etsy. The price of $5 each was just too good to pass up - and FREE shipping! Lisa is a professional costume creator and has lovely crowns, capes, and is listing party packs, too! I usually try to stay around $5 a child for "favors" but as I've lost my mind somewhere a couple of kids ago, I planned a fun craft, forgot about it, and started a new one. Once I remembered the first, I was too in love with them both to let go of either one! I'll post about the other craft later. As I was over budget, I went with these sparkly, glittery foam stickers for decorating our perfect crowns. I wish I had splurged for something a little nicer (and smaller) but they were easy for the little 4 and 5-year-olds to decorate to their hearts content.I put the stickers in these little silver and crystal dishes I have trouble using for anything else, because, you know... they are PRINCESSES making CROWNS.I bought a couple of rolls of tulle from our local Fabric Depot in pinks and purples, and a roll of black for my son - his is below. I cut lengths from the rolls and the girls tied them to the back of the crowns for the proper cascading royal effect. Here are a couple of the darlings trying them on PREtulle.
And these are the finished products one princess, one prince of darkness.
It was a joy to work with Lisa at Fairy Godmother For Hire, I was SO happy with how the individual crowns turned out, I love that the girls (and boy) got to take home special crowns that will last forever, I love that I spent money on something that won't get thrown away in a week, I love that a mama made these crowns!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Princess and The Pea Party Invitation

My daughter's 5th birthday was this weekend. We had a lovely Princess and the Pea Party. I am incredibly lucky that one of my favorite people in the world, and the mama of my daughter's good friend is a fantastic photographer! She took the most gorgeous photos - they made me cry. It was two hours of crafting and story telling and good girl friends - those first girlfriends at 5 years old - yummy food and some more crafting and general celebrating. For ME it was worrying that everyone was having fun and happy and not escaping through a back door or something, and before I knew it, it was over. NOW, though, I look at her stunning photos and my memories are of a magical, almost slow motion, perfect two hours of princessy fun! (We also took some photos, but ours pale SO much in comparison, that instead of showing them, I'm going to wait for hers to post here.) I'll share the "getting ready for it" parts, though.

I'll start with the invitation. I ADORE using sewing and fabric in different media. I've made a few invitations this way, but this is by far my favorite so far. Here is a close up of the PEA.(I know it looks funny to blur out our info, but I'm still leery of all of that.) I love the imagery of the towering bed with loads of different fabrics. I knew I wanted the invitations to be tall and thin. Paperzone here in Portland has a line of blank invitations that I keep going back to. The colors are perfect, the weight is great, and I love all of the different proportions they offer. It is called PZ facets. It seems you can't order anything from the website, which is too bad, but if you have one near you, GO.
Here is the first sketch I did:The gorgeous font I used is from Dirt 2. He is SO talented! All of the fonts are free for personal use, or available to purchase for commercial use. I used The Quickest Shift. SO scroll-y and perfect without being too sweet. He also has gorgeous photoshop brushes!! I used a few of the Secret Garden brushes for the details in the bed posts and feet - you can't really see what it is, but I know they are there, and I love them. I can't wait to figure out what to REALLY use them for.
I did a bit of a tutorial on flickr if you are at all interested in making invitations like this. If you want ANY other information, I'm always happy to share.

*Stephanie's photography page had her old blog as the link.  I've updated it to the real one:  http://stephaniebryanphotography.com/ **