Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy "Everybody's Irish" Day!

What I will be doing today:

*Passing out these awesome Raina-made magnetis fridge frames:




*Wearing green, and dressing Raina in green.




(this is Miss Cuteness last St.  Patrick's Day.  Check out my older post on how I made the pants!) 


*Breaking out my St.  Patty's Day headwear


(haha, sorry hubby!)


*Trying my hardest to make a "green" dinner!  Kale?  Edamame?  Pesto?



*Searching for rainbows.



What I will NOT be doing today:

EATING BOILED DINNER.



While half of my genes come from Ireland, I did not get the gene that allows me to find this meal yummy.  Even the smell of it makes me want to leave the house. 

What are you doing to celebrate?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tutu Cute (or Tutus, part 2!)

...and too-too easy!

A while back, I posted about a ten minute tutu I made for Raina using this tutorial:  http://samstermommy.blogspot.com/2009/11/10-minute-tu-tu.html .  At almost 2, Raina is full-on into the tutus now.  Tutus, crowns, silk scarves tied around her head, the works.  The pink poof tutu has held up pretty well, but the tulle I used for it was, well, not the best.  I used the most inexpensive rolls at the store, and I think it's showing.  The tutu has gotten pretty "bunched up" and it's almost impossible to straighten out.  Not that the wearer of the tutu minds one bit... but for the sake of my own crafting pride, I thought I'd give it another try with some slightly better quality tulle.  And this time, my own pictorial step-by-step!

The tulle!  This time I decided to go with lime green and robin's egg blue.  My color choices lately are really just a plea to spring to hurry up and get here!


Get a good solid book (I'm using an old High School yearbook, and let's be honest... this is the most action it's seen in years!).  Tuck an end of the tulle into the cover and start wrapping!  I kept it snug, but without pulling too tightly.







Now here's the scary part.  Time to cut!  Another reason I like using a sturdy hardcover book is that it gives you a good places to slide the scissors along.  That way you have some sort of a guide to keep the ends even as you cut.


Now you should have a nice fluffy pile of tulle!


Repeat these steps for any additional colors you want to use...  For me, it's time for blue!





so pretty!



Now you'l need some elastic.  I actually pulled mine out of a pair of old pj pants I'm saving to repurpose, but you can buy different widths at most craft and sewing stores.  Measure the waist of something that fits the intended recipient, take stretchiness and the amount of time you want the tutu to be worn into effect, and cut the tutu.  I really just guess at this part, to be honest, always erring on the side of too big rather than too small.  You can always take it in!  Sew the elastic into a loop, and stretch it over a book or the back of a chair.










Time to bring the tulle back in!  Fold the tulle in half, and slide it up under the elastic.

Pull through the loop, and pull down to tighten.  Basically, you're making slipknot after slipknot with your tulle.

Repeat, repeat, repeat!

If you're using more than one color, alternate every other, or every two, depending on the look you want.  You can also vary how many you put on to achieve varying degrees of poofiness!  The original pink one I made for Raina was VERY full, and every one I've made since has been more spare.  It's up to you!


A side project I added on here...  a matching hairclip for Raina using a few leftover lengths of tulle:


My spunky little sprite loves her new finery!  If I can ever get her to stand still in it for long enough to snap a picture, I'll show you just how cute she is in it.  :)


In the end, I would say to definitely spring for the tulle that's a little more pricey.  The pink tulle from my furst tutu had more of a scratchy, almost velcro-ish texture and feel to it.  This new stuff was just as poofy, but is oh so much softer, almost silk feeling.  Love it!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cupcake Fail.

These



Were supposed to be these...



or maybe these...



(I hadn't decided yet)


But thanks to a broken stove, instead of kitty cupcakes, I have a muffin tin in my fridge, filled with what looks like ketchup.  Red Velvet cupcakes that will never reach their true MEOW-tential.  (I love a good pun!)

I was going to be that awesome Mom, and bring the best birthday treats ever to Raina's friends at art class.  Instead, I brought nothing.  So we went out for snack instead... coffee, smoothies, and a delicious carrot-apple muffin.  Raina and her little friend Audrey giggled and played while their mommies got to chat.  So I guess it wasn't a complete fail after all :)

Last year, I dreamed of making these cupcakes for Raina's birthday party...  (Thanks, Martha Stewart, for helping me always aim a little too high!)



This is what the party-goers ended up feasting on...


Not bad, but somehow not *quite* the same.


They were the result of one afternoon of very hard work,  in a very tiny kitchen with a very tiny stove, with Auntie Karen and Mommy trying to bake while Miss Raina had other thoughts.  My husband thought I was crazy when I dipped all of the pretzels individually in white chocolate.  He may have been right.

This year, all I am responsible for bringing to the birthday party is Raina and a cake.  In my mind, I'm makin this:




We'll see how that goes!  And if my stove cooperates...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's somebody's Birthday!

Somehow, this little girl is 2 today!


My life has changed so much these past 2 years and I am simply amazed that it has gone by so quickly.  I am so honored to be her mommy, and to have the opportunity to watch her grow and kearn every day.
Here are some of Raina's favorites, at age 2:
number:  Three.  If you ask her, she tell you she's turning 3 today!
animal:  cat, of course!
food:  poppy-aah!  (popsicle)
song:  baa baa black sheep
activity:  playdoh

Happy Birthday, my silly girl!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Did you know...

that I make jewelry?

Mmmhmm, it's not all hairbows and paint cups over here!  Back in the day (ahem, pre-kid) I fancied myself a pretty snazzy jewelry designer.  I used to do craft fairs and sell in boutiques... I even had a website.  Since jewelry findings are a bit of a choking hazard, that part of me has been put to the back burner for a while.

BUT.
But...

I'm back in a store!  My wonderful hubby, who loves me and loves to promote my hobbies, spoke to a coworker who just happens to, in her spare time, OWN A BOUTIQUE.  And she wants my jewelry, in her shop.  Yay!  Maybe it's time to dust off the pliers again!

The boutique, which is in Cambridge if you're in the Boston area, is mostly a women's consignment shop, but dabbles in jewelry and accessories by local artists.  Just my cup of tea!  I also plan on supplying them with some extras from my closet floor that I've been having a hard time fitting into getting rid of... but that's a story for another day!  

What's that?  You'd like to actually see some of this mythical jewelry??  Oh, okay... twist my arm...







From top to bottom:
1.  Swarovski crystal necklace on gold chain with drop.
2.  Woven bracelets
3.  Rings!  Beaded and "one size fits most."  These rings are awesome.
4.  Earrings with semi pirecious stones
5.  Wish Upon A Star necklace, one of my most favorite pieces ever made

Pretty?  Thanks for looking :)  

I used to have an Etsy shop.  Correction:  I have an inactive jewelry Etsy shop.  As with the bow shop, it just has never gotten any traffic.  So I stopped renewing my listings.  Hopefully, having my preciouses in The Mad Closet will eliminate my need to hem and haw over whether to start it back up again, an urge that shows itself every now and then....


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wowie Zowie!

My hairbows are now on sale at a real brick and mortar store!  If you're in the Boston area, check them out at Colorwheel Collection in Roslindale Village!


or
This amazing local kida store is stocked with adorable kids clothes, toys and accessories, along with some fun arts and crafts supplies.  They are great at building community spirit through events for charities and for both kids and parents alike.  Even if you aren't local, have a look at their website.  A bonus:  Raina came along to my appointment today to meet the owner, which I was a little nervous about.  She was so sweet to her, chatting, giving her toys and crayons to play with, and even playing with Mr. Meow.  

For now, there's a small selection, but with your help, it could get bigger!!  These bows are really cute, and I"m not just saying that because I made them :).  They're great for birthdays, special pictures, or dressing up an every day outfit.  Do you know a little girl who goes to school in uniform?  Hairbows are a great way to add a little individual style and creativity!  These would also be great for cheerleaders, dance recitals, even to top off a gift with a usable bow instead of a throw-away one!

Okay, I'm done selling myself now.  Head on over to Colorwheel Collection!  If you can't get there, check out my Etsy shop!  www.rainasunshine.etsy.com