Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine Tutu-torial

Welcome to the first day of my Valentine Craft Series!
I've got lots of fun projects lined up for this week.  I hope you'll join us every day for a new tutorial.
Don't forget about the Pinterest Party on Sunday!  Have you decided what you'll be making? :)

Today, I'm going to show you how to make this sweet little Valentine tutu

Cast of Characters:

♥A few yards of tulle (this is cheapest off the bolt, but you can also buy rolls of it which make your job easier)
♥3/4in elastic
♥rotary cutter/mat--if you have one, otherwise, just a good ol' pair of scissors
♥pretty ribbon to add as decoration (optional)

To begin, measure your sweet munchkin's waist with the elastic

Subtract 2-3 inches from the band length (Kayleigh's waist measured 17 chubby inches, so I cut the elastic to 14 inches)  Sew the elastic into a loop.  You can either use a sewing machine (use a zig-zag stitch to make sure it's secure) or hand-sew it together.

Before you sit down and get serious with the tulle, take a moment to play peek-a-boo with your sweet girl

Note to friends: tulle is a pain in the tush.  It's not easy to cut, not super easy to work with.  And it will get caught in your wedding rings.  All. The. Time.  (so take those pretty things off and set them in a safe place!)
The nice thing about tulle is that it's super forgiving.  So don't stress that your cuts aren't perfectly straight.  

I bought my tulle for 33 cents a yard after Christmas.  Score!  By the bolt is probably your cheapest bet (at most, it'll be $2 a yard) but like I said, the roll would be really handy.  Your call.

I cut my tulle into strips 6in wide by 18in long.

I wanted it to be mostly white with bits of pink and red showing through, so I used a ratio of 3:1:1

To tie the tulle to the elastic band, fold two strips of  tulle in half and place the loop under the elastic as shown.  Pull the ends through the loop, and tighten the knot.

Two white, a pink and a white, two white, a red and a white, etc.

It's kind of hard to keep the elastic from twisting as you add new knots, so find a way to keep the elastic taught.  If the waistband is big enough, you can stretch it over the back of a chair or use the lingerie hooks on a hanger.  Since Kayleigh's waist isn't big enough for that, I just stretched it over my leg.
But you definitely don't need a picture of that.

Keep adding the tulle, two strips at a time, until you reach the desired fluffiness.
Don't you love it?!?

Next, I made a matching headband using leftover scraps and some elastic lace.
(I didn't take any pictures because it was sheer trial and error, but I love the way it turned out!)
Take a strip of pink tulle (3x10in) and sew a line right up the middle, lengthwise (so there should be 1.5in on each side of your needle.)  Once you get to the end, pull the thread tightly to make a little pompom.  Tie a knot and cut off.
Next, take a strip of white tulle (4x10) and fold it in half so that it is two inches wide.  Sew along the two edges all the way.  Pull the thread tight, tie a knot, and cut off.
I sewed a pearl button to the center of the pink pompom, and then sewed the pompom to the white pouf.  Then, I sewed the whole thing onto the elastic lace.  So simple and pretty!

Then, take your cute little sweet heart, and do a photoshoot :)

(Remember how I said I love Shutterfly?  I received coupons for 10 free cards, so I whipped this cute little valentine up.  And guess what?  When I ordered the cards, there was a note saying that if I shared my project on my blog, I'd get $10 toward my next purchase!  So...this has nothing to do with the tutorial, but I thought that was pretty great!)

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.
Join me tomorrow to decorate a beautiful serving tray!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making a Boutique Bow Barrette

Looking for my 200 Fan Giveaway?  Today is the last day!  Giveaway closes at Midnight
Looking for info on my Pinterest Party?  Be sure to link up on February 5th!
Get ready for a week of Valentine craft projects starting tomorrow.
February is going to be a lot of fun!

I wish I could remember who it was that wrapped one of Kayleigh's baby shower gifts with this adorable ribbon last summer.  As soon as I saw it at the shower, I knew that I wanted to save it.  I had something special in mind for it!

Kayleigh has a lot of hair, but it's still not enough to hold a heavy barrette like this yet.  I'm envisioning her looking absolutely adorable wearing this in a couple of years.  It's going to be so much fun!
(but really, Kayleigh Girl, please slow down!  You're growing up way too fast)

How to Make a Three Loop Boutique Bow
(I don't know if this style of bow has an actual name.  I made a variation on the regular boutique bow by adding a third loop.  Because I felt like it)

Cast of Characters:
♥ Hot glue gun
♥Needle and thread
♥Straight pin
♥1.5in ribbon
♥3/8in ribbon

This ribbon was wired, so I snipped the corner and carefully pulled it out.
Leaving it in would help your bow keep shape, but since it's for little girls, I'd rather it be soft :)

Next, wrap the ribbon around three fingers three times.

Fold it in half to find the exact center, and stick a straight pin in it

If you're working on a craft cutting board, stick the pin into it so that it will hold still while you work
(a piece of cardboard would also work, or *ahem* don't tell my husband, the table protector)

Next, fan out the three loops

Use your needle and thread (double strand for strength) to sew three stitches across the top 

Turn the bow over, loop the thread a knot at the end, and pull tight.

Wrap the thread around the middle several times, and sew through the bow to make sure it is secure

Add a dab of hot glue to the center

And gently press your 3/8in ribbon to it

Take your barrette clip and add hot glue across the top of it

Glue it to your bow, and turn the bow over.
Most barrettes have little center prongs that come out, but since this is the smallest size, mine don't.  If you have ones that are removable, the next step will be much easier.  If you don't, it's not the end of the world :)

Loop the ribbon over the barrette (under the prong if it doesn't come out)
Add a dab of glue to keep it secure

Do the same thing to the other end of the ribbon.  Glue in place, and cut off the excess ribbon.

Now, all I have to do is grow some more hair on that baby of mine!

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Why I love Shutterfly

I loooove me a good deal.

So, when Shutterfly started sending me coupons and offers for free items, I decided to take advantage them up on it.

I love the idea of photo books.  I love the idea of scrapbooks, too, and I have enough scrapbooking supplies upstairs to make scrapbooks for the rest of my life.  But I never get them finished.  Photo books, on the other hand, I can handle.

Two weeks ago, Shutterfly sent me an offer for a free hardcover photo book.  I couldn't resist.

I scanned through the huge selection of beautiful layouts for personalized photo books, and found one that I liked.

Then, I uploaded all of my favorite pictures of Kayleigh

And created my book
Squeee!  Don't you love that chubby baby on the back cover?
She's mine :)

Here's an example of what you can do with the beautiful page layouts

I love it!  
All I had to pay for was shipping.  So I basically got this beautiful, hardcover photo book for less than $6.

Then, last week, Shutterfly sent me an offer for a free photo calendar.
Don't they realize they're losing out on money with me?
I took them up on it.

The best part was, all of my favorite pictures were already uploaded to Shutterfly's server.  All I had to do was plug them into their new spots on the calendar.

(these next pictures aren't screenshots, so they're not as great, but I wanted to show you the full calendar!)

For the backgrounds, I chose "Seasonal Watercolors"

June is my favorite month--this year will be our fourth anniversary!

I love that on special dates like birthdays and anniversaries, you can add a picture

One of the best parts is, it saves all of the special dates so that when you make a calendar the next year, they all insert automatically (which means I don't have to sift through Facebook to find everyone's birthdays again next year!)

I'm beyond thrilled to have this beautiful calendar hanging in our kitchen.  With all of the firsts we'll be experiencing with Kayleigh this year, I'm so glad we have such a special calendar to use to write them all down.  We're keeping this thing forever!

So, thanks, Shutterfly, for giving me an easy way to preserve beautiful memories for free.

♥ Bethany

P.S. Shutterfly is in no way endorsing me to write this (I WISH!)
I just wanted to let you know about a really great way to get beautiful things for free.
There are a lot of great photo book companies out there.  I have made things through Kodak, Snapfish, MyPublisher, and VistaPrint.  While Shutterfly may not be #1 in quality out of all of these, it is the one that sends out the most offers.
When you sign up for Shutterfly, you automatically get 50 free 4x6 prints.  
And it just keeps getting better from there.

Friday, January 27, 2012

This is How Kayleigh Rolls

Look at our big girl!
Last night, we tucked Kayleigh into bed on her back with her head toward the window, and when we went up to check on her later, she had flipped her body so that her feet were toward the window, and she was on her stomach! We hadn't seen her roll until tonight. We are thrilled at our sweet girl's big progress :)

[This video is over 4 minutes long, so unless you're her grandparent, you may not really care. But! It's a momentous occasion, and I had to share :) ]

Oh, no! I'm "that" mom.

The other day at Target, Kayleigh was being such a cutie. She couldn't see much from her vantage in the stroller, but she smiled up at me constantly and held full on conversations with the ceiling tiles. Such a happy girl!
(this picture is back from the beginning of December, but it's happy Kayleigh Girl, and she's in her stroller, and...I love it!)

Anyway, as we wandered through the baby aisles (didn't need a single baby thing that day, but who can resist?) I stopped at the infant toys section.  Kayleigh just started reaching for things a week ago, and her new skill has me as thrilled as she is.  Most of her toys are too big for her to grasp with her tiny hands very well, though, so I started looking to see if there was anything she might enjoy.  I landed upon this O'Ball rattle, and handed it to her.  I had to whisk it away from her though, because she grabbed it with both hands and started trying to lick it.  Not until it's thoroughly washed, sweet girl!

As we stood waiting in the checkout line, it hit me.  My child is only four months old, and I've already become "that" mom. 

You know, the one we all roll our eyes at in the grocery store who buys something for her kids every single time they come with her.  The one who hushes up their little hissy fits with bribery.  Yeah.

Don't worry, I won't let it happen.  But seriously, how cute is this?

She was so happy!

It's perfect for holding

And tasting
don't worry, I washed it!
And shaking it, watching in wonder

I don't think I've spoiled her with this experience.
And I'm pretty sure this little toy was worth every penny of it's $4.99 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pinterest Party

If you're like me, your Pinterest board looks like this:

Yeah...that's 451 ideas that I want to try

And without intervention, I'm just going to keep pinning.

And pinning...

And pinning...

Gosh, I love Pinterest!

*ahem*  Anyway...

I've been thinking.  Why don't we challenge ourselves?  There are so many tutorials and DIY ideas out there.

What have you been eyeing?  

I'm going to host a link party on February 5th.

Will you join me?
Comb through your boards, search your pins, and choose one project that you've been itching to try.  
Make it, post it, and link up with me on Sunday, February 5th.  

Mark your calendars!

♥ Bethany