Thursday, March 31, 2011

Broadening Our Horizons

Have you noticed how some weeks we have a lot going on and others we seem to be slackers?  Yep, we've noticed, too.  HOWEVER, we're not actually being slackers.

The truth is making outfits for Heidi Sage (and company) is not the only thing we do!  Gasp!  Turns out we do a whole lot of other things...and we've decided to start sharing those with you, too.

For example, Chelsea is often working on garments that are not just for kids.  And Deborah likes to garden.  And I have a tendency to throw a few meals on the table each week.

We hope you'll enjoy some of the new things that will start appearing here....but don't worry!  There will still be plenty of child-friendly projects and crafts!

To get us started, I decided to pull an old post from an old blog I used to write...but now avoid.  :-)  I was reminded of this post a few weeks ago as I sat in a committee meeting and tried volunteering myself to make 600 cake balls for a charity event.  Turns out my fellow committee members were more aware of my insanity than I was.  They decided to take another route since I had three kids to tend to.

After I got home, I went back and read this post about when I had made 600 cake balls for Chelsea's wedding.  Really glad I'm not making 600 this week...


Have you ever agreed to a project that you were very excited about, but found out about halfway through that maybe you would have rather agreed to poke your eyes out with a fork??

Me, too.

About a year or so ago, we ALL started planning a wedding. My sister Chelsea's wedding. During some discussions it was brought up that Brian's favorite kind of cake was not really cake, but cake balls. And somewhere in that discussion it was decided that the groom's cake should be made of cake balls. And somewhere else in that discussion we came up with a figure that would be needed based on how many cake balls Chelsea can eat in one sitting. And from that point we moved forward to see what it would cost to order each guest the number of cake balls that CHELSEA can eat in one sitting. And through that calculation we came up with a cost of approximately $4,000. Gasp.

First mistake--don't ever base anyone else's eating capabilities on what Chelsea can do. She eats like horse and looks like a freakin' bean pole. You see, Chelsea can eat 8 cake balls in one sitting....yes, EIGHT. And when you break it down, that's 1/3 of a cake. No one....and I mean NO ONE eats 1/3 of a cake at a our calculations were a bit off. But it was too late....we had run with them...

So, anyway....somewhere in all those discussions, I agreed to make these 600 cake balls. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

But you see, Bakerella had made it look so easy. You just bake...then shred....then mix....then roll....then freeze....then dip. Easy peasy pumpkin pie, right?

So, for the past year every event I have gone to where I have been asked to bring something, I have taken cake balls. I've made cream cheese cake balls, red velvet cake balls, chocolate-chocolate cake get the picture. But making one batch of cake balls is much different than making 600.

Here's what 616 (plus the dozen or so eaten by bystanders) cake balls look like prior to a careful, artful creation. The amount of ingredients alone should have been a huge red flag....but I was still in that, "I'm so happy to do this for my baby sister and her hubby-to-be" state of mind.

I spent two straight days of baking 16 cake a kitchen that's under construction, no less. Not sure I'll ever bake another cake again...maybe just pies from here on out. :-)

During those two days, I also shredded each of the cakes and mixed them with the appropriate flavor of icing. We had Chocolate-Peanut Butter and German Chocolate...the groom's two favorite flavors. Happy to oblige, I was.

I spent a whole third day doing nothing but dipping and topping my little prizes.

To be honest I only dipped about 550 of them, because we didn't have enough boxes to pack them in...but I still like the ring of 600, so I tell that story.

After carefully packing each of the hand rolled, hand dipped treasures into their boxes, we packed them in coolers so they could stay unmelted during the 400 mile trek from my parents' house to Austin. I was just glad I didn't make those in Nashville and try to board a plane with 600 cake balls and two toddlers...can you imagine the crazy that would have come out of my eyes?

Anyway....I was feeling really good about myself for having finished such a big project and being able to contribute such an important piece to the reception. I realize it wasn't "THE Wedding Cake", but it was the Groom's it was almost as important.

But I'll have to admit I was a bit taken aback when I saw the presentation of the cake balls. Actually, I'll be honest...I lost my breath for a moment. I had been informed that the cake balls would be resting beautifully on a tiered platter. I had imagined 200-300 of those sweet puppies being displayed at once....oh, what a grand presentation that would be.

I walked in looking for this tower of perfection. I looked left. I looked right. I looked around the room about five times and there was not a single grand tower of chocolate anywhere. And then over in the corner, barely peeking up off the table, I saw it. A small tiered platter that held no more than 37-39 cake balls at a time. A sad little tear trickled down my cheek... could this really be? Did I slave for three days hunched over an endless supply of cake balls for such a small display that was so easy to miss?

Indeed, I had. I wiped my tear. Remembered this day was not about me. And headed upstairs to help the bride button 427 buttons down the back of her dress.

I will say, the compliments about the cake balls throughout the night were endless, and greatly appreciated. We, of course, over estimated our audience's cake ball consumption by about 450, but the cake balls were passed on to others and joy was spread beyond the walls of just our celebration....

And isn't that what life is really about? Sharing the love... Indeed it is.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Head Band with Bow may have noticed Heidi Sage hasn't gone a day in her life without a bow.  Seriously.  Ever.

And maybe you're thinking, but my baby doesn't have do I get her to wear a bow?  That's where the magic of a headband comes in.  And with just the right adjustment, a headband can be made for interchangeable bows.

Sometimes I can't find headbands small enough for a baby head so I will purchase a regular headband and make it smaller.  I cut the headband at the seam.

Cut off the extra based on the baby's head measurement.

On this one I decided to add a name.  When adding a name you will want to move the seam from the center to the edge, creating a flat front and back. This one was for my great-niece, Canyon.

When sewing the headband back together I make the seam to the outside.

Then I lay the seam flat, pull the outer edges together on the outside of the headband, and hand stitch together.

This makes a place to insert a hair clip/hair bow.

I made a hair bow to match the headband.  I used my bear to do the modeling because Canyon was not available. 

And it's really great for the church nursery or preschool....because their name is literally written on their head!  Ha!

I Heart Headbands,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baby Shower Gifts for Jill

My friend Jill is getting ready to have baby girl #2.   She already has Miss A, who's about to turn 3 and in just a few short weeks she'll be welcoming baby girl.  My mom was in town visiting me on the weekend of the baby shower, so we put together some cute gifts for baby girl and a little surprise for Miss A.

I made baby girl some onesies that went with knit pants and made matching hairbows.

Daisy knit applique onesie with cute hat and bow.  I made the bow with an alligator clip so that it can also be worn without the hat. Check out a previous tutorial to learn the process of knit applique.  You can attach the applique to the shirt by machine stitching as the tutorial shows, or you can attach it by handsewing it with embroidery floss as I did on the daisy.

Reverse appliqe heart applique ones with leopard bow.  Check out a previous tutorial to learn about reverse applique.

Bow onesie and matching hairbow.  Check out a previous tutorial to learn how to make the bow onesie.

Knit applique flower onesie with crocheted lace accent.  To learn how to make the adorable matching hairbows, visit Deborah's hairbow tutorial.

Deborah made this precious bib with baby girl's first initial.

Deborah also made these adorable little matching dresses for the girls to wear this summer.  They were a big hit at the baby shower!

Staying busy,

Linking to...
Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lady Bug Onesie and Flower Onesie

You'll probably be shocked to find out that I actually made a girl outfit (or four) that are NOT for Heidi Sage.  Gasp...I know!  These little numbers were for my newest great-nieces, Canyon and Emery.  

I started with these onesies I found at Wal-mart.  On the pink onesies I put flowers and on the purple onesies I used a ladybug.

To make the ladybug it takes alot of circles and ovals.  I traced my circles and ovals.

Cut out my pieces.

I started with the center of the body first.  Ironed it to the onesies and stitched it down.

Ironed on all the dots and stitched them on by hand with embroidery thread.

Ironed the wings down and stitched around them.

Then I added the head.

Stitched on some antennas with embroidery thread.  Added some pants.

Next I did the pink onesies.  I gathered my supplies; pattern, knit fabric, wonder under and thread.

Traced my pattern and cut out my pieces.

Next I ironed on the leaf and stitched around the outside.

Ironed on the center of the flower and stitched it down before ironing the flower to the onesies.  After ironing the flower down it stitched around the flower.

Bought some matching pants.

Hope Heidi Sage isn't jealous,

Linking to...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tweet, Tweet!

I love working with knits! It's completely different than working with wovens, and to be honest, it's a little scary until you have some experience.  This is because you use completely different methods with knits than with wovens.  I just got interested in working in knit about a year ago and now I'm in the middle of creating my MFA thesis show, which is ALL knit garments.  Sometimes, though, I need a break from the complexity of what I do for professional work and I make things for little Miss Heidi Sage.  I found these cute knits and made her some adorable little dresses to wear with her leggings.  Heidi Sage really likes animals, so she has a good time telling people about the little birdies on these dresses.

For the dress I used the Go To Dress pattern from Andrea at The Train to Crazy.  You should check her out, she has great ideas and some free patterns!  While I didn't use the pattern exactly as she created it, I did start with her pattern and wanted to give her credit for her great idea.

This dress is very similar to Andrea's pattern, I simply removed the empire elastic casing and added a cute little pocket for Heidi Sage to carry around her treasures.

On this dress I also started with Andrea's pattern but I eliminated the gathers at the neckline to make the dress more fitted.  I also eliminated the shoulder ruffle and added contrast bands at the sleeve opening and the hem.  I also added a little kangaroo patch pocket.

I really like making kids clothes because you can get really cute results without reinventing the wheel.  I typically don't take the time to create complete new patterns for kids, I simply start with a stock pattern and make some simple modifications to get a new look!  Make sure you check out Andrea at The Train to Crazy and get your own copy of the Go To Dress pattern.

Linking to...

MakingThe Girl Creative Keeping It Simple