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Since finding the photo of Liberty of London fabrics framed in embroidery hoops at Purl (see post here), I’ve been meaning to try the idea. Here’s my interpretation with some embroidered birds on linen. I painted the hoops matte black. But I think that these would be great unpainted or painted with different bright colors and used in a child’s room.

I simply hooped the fabric and cut the excess, so this was a quick and easy project. I plan to add more to this grouping, mix in some plates or find some flea-market style small round mirrors. I embroidered the birds myself, but I think that vintage handkerchiefs would make a great display. You can find lots of vintage handkerchiefs online here and here.



We’re all about fairies, princesses and now, after our trip to Hawaii and a television program starring a large-headed Spanish-speaking character, mermaids too. Since I’ve started sewing, the kids are asking me to make things (often unrealistic, elaborate things, by the way).

My younger daughter wanted a fairy crown yesterday so her sweet sister made her the one pictured above and fitted it properly with no assistance from me; just the stapler. Are you tired of me showing my child’s drawings? If you’re my mother, you’re not. Today the little one once again requested a mermaid crown, so I obliged with this fabric, some leftover shells from our beach trip last year and a glue gun.


So I managed to get a large number of toys to Goodwill before the onslaught of birthdays and Christmas, and I think we have it pared down pretty well. But our playroom has always been a mish-mash of furniture with toys thrown in baskets. I got some great storage from IKEA last year and I decided to finally put it all together last week. I had a few yards of the fabric pictured above (also from IKEA) that I had been planning to use for another project. Since it looks like there will be only female children around here, I went with the flowers.
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I made these felt stool covers (for IKEA stools) with appliqued flowers. I made a few floor pillows and some quilted chair cushions. We painted our table and chairs by mixing up some leftover house paint (which sort of came out as weird colors), and now I need to add a coat of polyurethane. I say “we” because I let my very young children help. Oh how frustrating, but they enjoyed it. I’m also working on a checkerboard quilt and hope to have that completed this weekend. I really didn’t have to buy anything new, we just rearranged and renewed what we already had, which was nice.


Both of my children were born in December.  Poor planning.  After going through the year of pictures for our 2007 photo album, I realized with sadness and a sense of pride that our older daughter grew up this year.  She just turned five and is asking questions like “Does Santa have a job?” and too frequently dismisses things as “just pretend”.  She is coming up with her own (and surprisingly funny) jokes and has started wearing blue jeans and a ponytail.  

We read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland over the last few months and decided to have a birthday party with a Wonderland theme. I’ve been looking at the Alice birthday party pictures posted over at Design Mom and thinking what a lovely theme it would be. I’m posting pictures and download-able invitations, party hats and garland.


Of course the girls wanted to dress up as the characters from the book, so I made Alice and Queen of Hearts dresses. I made these giant tissue roses to hang from a chandelier using this method. But I stacked two or more groups of folded tissue paper in an “X” shape before wrapping with the chenille stems, which created fullness for such a large flower. Also, I find that it helps reduce tearing if you fluff the tissue before you wrap it with the stem.


I made this mobile with fabric created by iron-on transfer paper. I just cut out the designs and sewed together with an Alice in Wonderland patterned fabric. I then sewed on ribbon and tied each one to an arm of the chandelier. The mushrooms were made with felt, burlap, stuffing and thread spools. I embroidered the dots by machine, made a basting stitch to gather them, stuffed the inside, and hot glued the tops to the base. This was a very last minute project, but one of my favorites.



I made two garlands; one with playing cards (jumbo-sized cards would have been better) and one with print-outs of the characters. Here are the images for the cut-out garland: wonderland-cut-out-garland.pdf.

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The children sat at a small table and drank tea. I made this runner with fabric that I bought from sonatine over at Etsy. I don’t see it there anymore, but Reprodepot has some great Alice in Wonderland fabric here. For the ribbon flower, I used the pattern at Martha Stewart that you can find here. I served scones and tea sandwiches with cream cheese and orange marmalade cut in the shape of hearts. We used red roses for the centerpiece and made cakes from this rose-shaped pan (in all the frenzy, I neglected to get a photo of the cakes). I decorated the cakes with icing flowers at the base and icing in the rose petals, but it would be lovely with powdered sugar and a rose in the center. Kids do like icing.

We played “Pin the Tail on the Cheshire Cat” with a nice poster board drawing created by my husband (no photo). We sent the kids home with this “Drink Me” hot chocolate mix, shown below. I wanted to do something with “Eat Me”, but the fourteen-year-old in me just couldn’t do it.



I did not get around to making party hats for the party, but I made some samples and am posting the templates below. You can put them together with glue dots or staples (be sure sharp part is on the outside). You can find thin elastic at the fabric store and staple or securely tape it to the inside.

Here are the party hat templates:





Our invitations were a bit different, but I am posting the basic design as a fill-in invitation (.pdf file below). We printed ours on scallop edged paper, size 4.5″x6.25″(A6 envelopes).



And I have also posted a page of characters that you could print on sticker paper, which we used in the pinata. We tried a homemade pinata and it seems that my engineering skills need some work. All of the strings pulled at once! The kids didn’t really mind; they just wanted the candy. So if you want to dress up a store bought pinata (or cover up the princess design), you could glue some tissue flowers on it. Another case of me trying to make something that costs $8.99 to buy.

I finally finished this table runner just before Christmas Eve. I am still just piecing together fabric and am satisfied with the pieced work without the additional step of quilting. I designed this runner to resemble a tree with triangles of descending size that meet in the center.



Since I’m trying to make most of my holiday gifts this year, I decided to make silhouettes of our children.  I went with a traditional interpretation, but you could use colored papers, do full-body action silhouettes, add design elements to the background, make your portraits face one another, or any number of other creative things. 

I’ll give the step-by-step process because this is a project that anyone can do, though it was a little tedious.


-digital camera

-acid free craft paper for silhouettes and background


-sharp scissors

-acid-free spray adhesive

Step 1: Take a photo in profile.  Upload this to the computer and re-size to the size that you’d like your silhouette to be (I made mine 5″ high on an 8″ square background).  I used photoshop, but I’m sure that you could do this in other photo programs.

Step 2: Print image and trace the outline of the profile (I did this with a sharpie so it came through the paper and I could get an idea from the back side of what it would look like).  I then cut out this image.  Now is the time to make changes.  I added the eyelashes because you couldn’t really see them in my photos and I embellished the hair-dos.  I first made the silhouettes of Eva without the bow and realized she looked like Darth Vader so had to start again.  My children have very straight hair, but curls would be so pretty in a silhouette and you would not be faced with the helmet-head problem.


Step 3: Tape cut-out photo to silhouette paper and cut around the edges (or you could just trace the design onto the back).  Now is the time to think about which way you want your silhouettes to face.  I read somewhere that the secret to cutting details and curves is to move the paper and not your scissors.  This is good advice.  I cut off several eyelashes and had to start again.  Do those first in case you screw them up.  Also it helps to cut off the bulky pieces of paper first to make your cutting more manageable.

Step 4: Spray adhesive to back of silhouette and place on backing paper.  Frame them up and — voila! — a great gift for the family that you can enjoy for years.


This project took me several hours.  Just be sure that you are relaxed and able to concentrate during the cutting stage as this is the most difficult part.  Mine did not turn out perfectly, but I am pleased with the end result, especially since they are my children’s sweet little faces (you can see that my two-year-old sucks her bottom lip).  How sweet!


I decided not to buy any more stuff and made my own gift tags this year.  You can find the .pdf file below .  I created these with an Avery 5294 template, so you could use them as stickers.  I am printing them on card stock and punching holes with my new Martha Stewart hole punch.  I’ll put the to/from on the back side. 


In my earlier post I found some great wreaths and check out this new one from Betz White.  I have a pile of fabric scraps and  a wreath form just waiting for some inspiration.  Not everyone has a million beautiful cashmere sweater scraps lying around the house, but isn’t this pretty?  I am already seeing houses decked out in decorations, so I guess it’s time.

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My four-year-old and I have been going around the house taking photos for an alphabet book that will be a gift for her sister’s birthday.  Eva has really enjoyed finding things that start with the all the letters and I think Laura will get a kick out of it.  We included some of her toys, food, parts of the house and pictures of our family.  I’ll add the text and then we’ll upload them to a photo site to make into a book.  But if you couldn’t use Photoshop to add the text, you could just add it as a caption.  This has been a really fun project.  We’re just missing a few letters! 


I had to add some images of this snowman drawing that Eva made.  I digitized it and embroidered the design on some hand towels.  See my recent post about preserving children’s artwork.  This time she had me make some changes after I scanned it into the computer (she wanted to change the hats) and she picked the thread colors.  We’re going to give these to the grandparents.

Also, I had another thought about children’s artwork after watching Eva get super excited about these rubber stamps from the small object.  You could turn a drawing into rubber stamps!  I think a simple line drawing would make a fabulous rubber stamp (and a great stocking stuffer).  Here’s a site that can do it.  The customization feature is not totally user-friendly, but you can see your design after you upload it.

And I love the idea of making your child’s drawing into a stuffed animal.  Here‘s a nice example from Fruit of Her Hands:

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