Prairie Rose Pattern Tour

Hello, long, lost blogging friends!  I hope some of you are still out there reading, because I've got a whole bunch of recent projects to share with you, starting with ... the Prairie Rose Set from Wee Muses.

When Annelise of Aesthetic Nest asked me to join her tour, I took one look at the Prairie Rose Set and knew Ruby would love it.  What little girl wouldn't?  It is an entire collection of clothes patterns dominated by ruffles.  :)

For Cora, I sewed up the maxi skirt, but more on that in a minute.  Ruby received a modified blouse and pant.

For the blouse, I left off the ruffle and elastic casing on the sleeves.  I also made the pants sans ruffle, added a pin tuck down the front and back of each leg, and narrowed the leg quite a bit.  (photo above is the slimmer version, photo below (in boots) is the full-width leg).  Even having omitted so many ruffles, this is a very fun and feminine look.

I can't tell you how much prancing and preening went on when I pulled this outfit out.  Ruby could not stand still.

I made this floral maxi skirt for Cora (and the coral flashback skinny tee to coordinate), but she absolutely rejected it.  Two year olds are impossible.  Grrr.

I got little smiles for these photos only because she was so pleased with herself for not keeping the skirt on.
What a stink-face.

Ruby, who had been eyeing those flowers from the start, decided she could make it work, and quickly adopted the skirt.  "It's ok if its not so long, mama."

Twirling promptly commenced.

So I guess that makes Ruby the big winner.  She always gets ALL the clothes.  (But I sure hope Cora softens her heart about that skirt, because ... SWOON!)

The Prairie Rose set is a fully collection that includes a blouse, dress, skirt, and pants for sizes 18 months - 8 years.   If your little girl loves ruffles, this one is a crowd-pleaser (unless she is two, and then I make no promises).

Thanks, Annelise, for letting me participate in your pattern tour!

The Norah Dress Pattern Tour

When Hayley from Welcome to the Mouse House asked me to participate in her Norah Dress pattern tour, I was powerless to resist.  That collar!  I have a real weakness for patterns with a vintage vibe, and this one really hit the spot.  Plus, I love any pattern with a classic, simple shape.  This is a dress that will never go out of style.

Of course, the collar is the real show-stopper.  A cinched peter pan with ties?  I die.  When I was cutting the collar pattern piece, the scraps seemed like they would be just the perfect size and shape for a few pockets.  They are a bit tight up top, but Ruby can still get her hands inside, and the first thing she did was start loading them with treasures.  Plus, the pockets were a way for me to add more pink (at her request).

Fabrics used:  main print - Emily Herrick Technicolor in Kryptonite, collar - Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in black, lining - Kona Cotton (not sure of the color).

Ruby approved.

Until our little photo bomber came along.  Oh sure, it was funny at first, but then baby sister tried to steal too much of Ruby's thunder.  "These pictures are just of ME!" she said.

It wouldn't be a photo shoot without a few tears, right?

No tears were shed about the Norah Dress though.  It was a real winner.  I can't wait to sew up more versions for my girls (it works for knits, too!) ... let's just say I plan to copy Simple Simon's perfect yellow Norah tunic pretty much point by point.

Thanks, Hayley, for including me in your first pattern tour!  I'm a fan.  

Make a stop at all the blogs on the pattern tour, so you don't miss any of the wonderful versions of this pattern!

let them eat cake

Sometimes I make cakes ... usually just for family, and every once in a while for friends.  It is fun to take a break from the sewing machine occasionally.  :)  So here are some of the unblogged cakes of the last year or two:

This mermaid cake was for a friend's party last month.  The scary part about making your own cakes is seeing how much sugar goes into them.  I make all of my own frosting and fondant, and between the outer fondant and buttercream frosting underneath, this cake contains four pounds of powdered sugar.  yowza.

My friend, Sonja, made the super adorable mermaid toppers.

Oscar requested an Iron Man cake for his 4th birthday, which was funny because he really didn't know who Iron Man was at the time.  He was delighted, nonetheless.

I really like doing cakes in the shape of letters and numbers.  The actual cake carving and assembly can be easy, but frosting them can be a real pain if the are stacked high and thin.  I gave up on this number 7 cake and covered it entirely in sprinkles to hide the mess underneath.  But it turned out looking pretty festive anyway.

Last year, Sonja's daughter was having a Halloween birthday party, but wanted a Hello Kitty cake.  We added some vampire fangs and called it good (this was one of my favorites).

Practice makes perfect(ish).  The first time I attempted a ruffle cake for Ruby's birthday, it was way too hot outside (and thus inside, since air conditioning in Santa Barbara is rare), so the icing was sad and droopy (not that she cared).  With a little more practice, and better weather conditions, I made a much nicer ruffle cake for Lilly's cowgirl party.

Oscar's soccer team, the Green Dragons, needed a cake for their end-of-season party.  Oscar helped me add the decorations on this one, which was a lot of fun.

And most recently, I made another cake for Sonja's daughter's monster birthday party.  The monster's "fur" is made using a grass tip, which is very easy, but a bit time intense.  It had by far the coolest texture of any cake I've ever decorated!  I need to get my hands on more party photos to share with you for this one, because it was a really great party.

Genealogy Fan Charts

Hi guys - I'm back this week to finish out the year in blogging with a few last posts.  It should be a good mix of projects, products, and parties, so be sure to check back throughout the week!

First up, I wanted to feature my friend Megan's new etsy shop.  If you've been a reader for a while, you might remember Megan from my early blogging years, as we loved to make sock animals and go on ridiculous adventures around NYC.

Megan is one of my favorite people on earth, so when she and her husband, Nate, created these beautiful Genealogy Fan Charts and opened an etsy shop, I knew I had to tell you all about it!

Genealogy Fans* offers a seven-generation chart, either in digital or printed form.  The printed chart, done on Hahnemuhle German etching paper with archival ink, is an heirloom quality piece that would make a lovely holiday gift - perfect for parents, in-laws, or anyone who loves family history!

Entering your genealogy data is easy using their simple online form.  Genealogy Fans even offers assistance entering data and finding family members for an additional fee.

 *I am not affiliated with Genealogy Fans.  Opinions expressed are purely my own.

Cora's birthday carnival brunch

Baby Cora just turned two!  I guess that means she is not a baby anymore ... but we can just go on pretending, right?  The carnival theme came about because 1) when Cora arrived, our lives turned into kind of a three ring circus, and 2) I really wanted to reuse those decorations from Oscar's school carnival.  :) 

Of course, I used my favorite tool, Silhouette CAMEO for most of the decorations (banners, labels, vinyl, food picks, etc).  There are a few days left to enter the giveaway, and your odds are pretty good!  Also, I'll be posting the Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving day this year, so watch for that.  This sale is going to be the best they've ever offered, so you won't want to miss it.

I have to say, serving brunch was the easiest party food yet.  We skipped the cake all together and just served mini-doughnuts.

 For the rest of the spread, we had mini quiche, croissants, sausage, tiny yogurt cups, little pancake stacks, and apple fritter bread (which is crazy delicious, and you should totally try the recipe!).

The pancakes were my favorite.

But you know what was really my favorite from the party?  This girl.  She is a total nutter, and we love her to bits.

I made her a Geranium Tunic using the Children on Parade fabric by Sarah Jane.  I've been hanging onto it for a while, so I don't know how easy it is to find now.  It is one of my favorite fabrics ever!

So all it all, it was just a really fun morning where we ate ourselves sick and clowned around.

 Happy birthday, Cora!

Happy Holidays! Silhouette CAMEO Givaway!

Hi Guys!  I'm crawling out of my cave again because when someone offers you a Silhouette CAMEO to give away to your readers, you just can't say no, right?

I think by now you all know of my love for the Silhouette CAMEO (affiliate link).  It is amazing.  I use it for everything!

When I'm putting on a party, Silhouette is my most trusted side-kick:

Sometimes Silhouette saves Christmas (and every other holiday):

No baby shower goes untouched!

Ok, on to the good stuff.

Are you wondering what the heck a Silhouette CAMEO is?  Well, it is an electronic cutting machine that you can use on paper, fabric, vinyl, heat transfer material and more.  But the best part is, this machine is all digital, so you don't have to buy cartridges for the images and you can even create your own images yourself.  Get all the details right HERE.

Do you want a Silhouette CAMEO?  Don't lie ... you know you do.  All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment on this post!  Easy, peasy, one chance for everyone.

CAMEO with Portrait

This giveaway runs now (November 20) until midnight on Wednesday, November 27th.  On Thanksgiving, I'll announce the winner, and give you the skinny on all the fabulous Black Friday sales Silhouette has going on this year.

Here are the rules:

  • Enter a comment before November 28th.  Why do you want a Silhouette?
  • Leave ONLY one comment.  Multiple entries will disqualify you.
  • PLEASE ... If you want to win, I must know who you are!  So if you don't have a blogger account or it is private, please leave an email address so I have some way to contact you.
Thanks for being a reader!  I wish I could give one of these babies to each and every one of you!