Monday, November 29, 2010

Reindeer Winner

Sorry for the delay in announcing our winner!  Instead of packing up yesterday to have a baby today, I was bringing home a new baby from the hospital...we'll share a few details and pics on that coming up, but for now...our winner...

Congratulations to

Shoot us an email at with your address and we'll send you your prize!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Advent Season Craft

At 3 1/2 Clinton is understanding more and more about this crazy world that surrounds him.  As I watch him fully grasp concepts and ideas, I find it increasingly important to focus on the concepts and ideas that we value in our home.

And one thing we value is the meaning of Christmas.  Clinton knows full and well that Christmas means Santa and snow...and TOYS!  Every day for the past few weeks he has woken up, looked out the window, and been disappointed there is no snow...he seems to think snow = Christmas...and Christmas = toys.

Anyway, as I've watched him focus more and more on the idea of toys and gifts, I've felt more and more of an urgent need to focus on the MEANING of Christmas.  I started looking for some way to accomplish this.  I found a number of ideas, and finally settled on this one.

I found this book, The Advent Jesse Tree, on Amazon.  I liked it because it's a book we can use year after year, as it follows the 25 days of December vs. a true advent calendar which changes annually.  I also liked it because each day consists of a Bible scripture, a children's devotional, an adult devotional, and a symbol.  And I liked it because not every day is about the story of Jesus' fact, it covers the main stories throughout the Old Testament leading up to Jesus' birth.  The point is to show that everything leading up to that point was actually designed to lead up to just that point in time.

This discussion questions may still be a bit much for Clinton, although after reading through the book I think he'll understand quite a bit of it.  I think it also helps the little ones that a symbol is given to each day.

The book asks that you use the given symbol for each day to create an ornament that goes on a dedicated tree.  I decided my Applesauce Cinnamon ornaments would do just the trick.  I went through the list of symbols and found simple patterns for each on the web.  I printed and cut them out.  (If you'd like to use my file of symbol patterns, shoot us an email at and I'll send them to you!)

In order to do all the symbols, it really does take two batches of the dough.  They do better if they're not too thin and you really would have to make them quite thin to get all the symbols out of one batch.

Once the dough was mixed up and rolled out, I started cutting out my symbols.  I just laid the patterns on top and cut out with a sharp ended knife.

Patterns/symbols that I felt would benefit from some dimension, I cut apart and cut out separate pieces that could be stacked and glued together once they were baked.

Other symbols were perfectly fine as just a "silhouette".

After I cut them all out, I baked them according to the tutorial.  (This is not my best batch.  I did them a little thin and let them cook overnight...which meant they didn't get flipped often enough...Oopsie.)

I found this set of 3 baskets on Clearance this week at JoAnn's for $8.97.  I knew these would work perfectly for how I wanted to organize my project.

I used the smallest basket to hold all the ornaments.  I used the medium basket to hold all of our Bible story books that I found around the house.  I thought it might be interesting to have some different ways of telling the stories.  And I used the big one for all of our art supplies.  In my basket I have pom poms, ribbon, yarn, craft buttons, a sample set of glitter, a sample set of sequins, google eyes, rick rack, paints, paint brushes, Mod Podge, and some plastic containers for Mod Podge and paints.

 I then cleared off some space on the buffet in the dining room for my baskets.  My plan is to do a devotional each day.  Then we will decorate the corresponding ornament for that day.  And as soon as I get my smaller tree out of the garage, I'm going to set it up in the dining room and it will be designated just for our Advent ornaments.  For Heidi Sage, I'm printing the symbols on paper and let her color, paint, or glue them as she pleases.  At 38 weeks pregnant, I just didn't have it in me to make two sets of ornaments.  (If you'd like the file of printable ornaments, shoot us an email at and I'll send you the file.)

I also bought this nativity scene toy for the kids and I to play with.  I'm planning on getting it out at the beginning of December and placing it with our Christmas books.  That way as we're reading the stories, we can play along with the toy.  

At the very latest, I should be home from the hospital on December this should all work out just fine.  We'll see....I'm just hoping Baby #3 is as good of a baby as 1 and 2 were!

Ready for the Reason!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I wish Chelsea could have been here this morning when I opened up the box she sent to find these adorable things...

I realize you've already seen the big Gingerbread Shirt, as Chelsea did a tutorial on that here.  Another close up to help you see all the amazing detail...that's so easy even you can do it!  And NO SEWING MACHINE necessary!  :-)

What Chelsea didn't show you was this UH-DORABLE onesie she made for Baby #3.  While there's not a tutorial on this specific shirt, there is a tutorial on the method she used.  Just check out the stencil painting method used in this post.

If I'm not mistaken, Heidi Sage has a coordinating outfit coming from Deborah...can't wait to see that!

...and we'd love to hear from you if you plan to make these adorable Gingerbread Shirts.

Run, run as fast you can...

12 giveaways

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"HO HO HO" Knit Applique

Knit Applique is just as easy as Felt Applique.  Knit does not ravel so you can use a loose zig zag stitch to attach your applique.  

Chelsea made Heidi Sage a Jumper from this fabric so I made the other two coordinating shirts.  My job was to applique "HO HO HO" on the shirts.  So I made my pattern and Chelsea mailed me the fabric.

I made two different sizes of letters for my patterns.  Remember that when working with different size garments, it's important to resize applique patterns accordingly.  Baby #3's was done on a 0-3 month onesie, while Clinton's was done on a Youth S shirt.

Iron Wonder Under to your fabric.  Remember, the rough side faces down and the slick side faces up.  Once the Wonder Under was ironed down, I traced my patterns and cut them out.

Iron your letters on.

On the smaller shirt I could not get all three to fit on the front so I put one on the front and two on back.

Use your loose zig zag stitch to attach your appliques to your shirt.

These shirts are ready to go and super simple.  

I also made Heidi Sage a bow to match her Jumper.

Chelsea made this Jumper for Heidi Sage to coordinate with the boys.  This particular pattern is a rather difficult design, so there is no tutorial.  However, for a simple way to make a coordinating outfit you could use the Rectangle Skirt Tutorial or a simple jumper you've made before.  Chelsea also made Baby #3 some comfy pants out of the knit, Clinton will probably be wearing his beloved blue jeans or cords.

Feeling Holly-Jolly,

Linking to...
The DIY Show OffMake it Yours @ My Backyard EdenBCD 125

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reindeer Applique Giveaway

Well, friends, it's that time again...we're giving stuff away!  As we leisurely stroll into Thanksgiving it's sometimes easy to forget how quickly we're going to get slammed with Christmas.  And don't you want your little ones living it up this Christmas in festive duds?  That you made?

Uh-huh.  I thought so.  Me too.

Since my three kiddos will be prancing around in these reindeer get-ups, we thought it only fair that two of your kiddos be doing the same!

The prize?  All the needed pieces to put together the Reindeer Applique.  You'll still have to put it together, but without all the trips to the craft store...  You can thank Deborah for putting this together!  Even the most beginner of seamstresses can handle this one!  

And if you don't win, there's still the awesome Reindeer Shirt Tutorial Deborah put together that you can follow!

How to enter...
1.  You can leave up to three comments, each comment an entry.
2.  The first comment is just a comment telling us whatever you think we need to know.  :-)
3.  The second is to let us know you are a "Follower".  (And, yes, we'll be checking these!)
4.  The third is to let us know you "Like" us on FaceBook.  (And, yes, we'll be checking these, too!)

If you leave a comment under "Anonymous", please make sure to include your name or email.

We will draw a winner this Sunday...I'm supposed to be having a baby on Monday!


Linking to...

My Backyard Eden

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reindeer Christmas Shirts

This is another felt applique project.  Remember you need to purchase eco-fi felt (polyester fiber made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles) as mentioned in this post.

Supplies Needed:
Brown Felt
Tan Felt
Red Felt
Black Felt
Simple Reindeer Pattern (See our pattern below)
Wonder Under
Thread to match felt
Google Eyes
Tee Shirt

Iron wonder under to your felt squares.  The rough side of the Wonder Under faces down.

Next trace your pattern to the wonder under and cut out your pieces.  Make sure your pattern is adjusted to the size of your shirt.  I made shirts this year for both Heidi Sage and Baby #3.  I had to adjust the pattern to fit each of their shirts proportionally.  

I try to applique as many pieces together as possible before attaching to the garment.  

Remove paper from the back side of each piece before ironing. I leave the paper on the back of the head until I am ready to iron it to the shirt.  I ironed on the tongue first and used a loose zig zag to attach the tongue.

Next I attached the tan part of his snout, ironed it down, and then used the zig zag stitch to attach.

On the top part of his snout you can use black or red for the nose.  (We decided on red for Heidi Sage and black for the boys...we're hoping this doesn't cause a family riot!)  Just iron on and sew.

Now we are ready to start attaching to the shirt.  Place the horns on first and lay them to fit your shirt.  Then you are ready to iron and stitch down.

Now we are ready to iron the reindeer head to the shirt.  Remove the paper from the back of the reindeer head and place it to your shirt.   After you get it centered with the horns iron in place.  Below you can see Baby #3's.

And here is Heidi Sage's.  Chelsea and I both bought this same shirt for HS, but made completely different outfits from it.  (You can see Chelsea's other outfit here.)

Next you will stitch around the head and attach your google eyes.  You now have a cute reindeer shirt for a little boy or girl.  Found the fleece pants at Target to complete Baby #3's ensemble.

I wanted to make Heidi Sage a matching Hair Bow but all my ribbon had white and not cream so I dyed it in some tea.  Yes, we can be psycho like that, but details matter and it made it the perfect color.

After dying my ribbon I made Heidi Sage a Hair Bow.

I found some ivory socks at GYMBOREE and added a Reindeer Button to each sock.

I made a skirt from Chelsea's Rectangle Skirt Pattern to complete the outfit.

Clinton's shirt from last year still fits, so he will also coordinate.  As you can see, you don't always have to use white, green or red.  His blue shirt is pretty cute.  And Heidi Sage's reindeer outfit last year was a red ticking jumper...ADORABLE!  So, don't limit yourself just to t-shirts and onesies...branch out and get creative!

Clinton loved his reindeer shirt last year and has already been asking his mother to let him wear it this year.  It really makes a fun festive outfit for the holiday season.

You know, these are so cute we may just have to have another giveaway...

Click on this to view larger.  You should be able to save as a jpeg file, insert into a word document, and resize as necessary.

Linking to...
Keeping It SimpleBWS tips buttonTexas Monkey