Oct 31, 2015

Happy Halloween - Please Help Groot!

Hello There.

So, Halloween is wrapping up for us here in Colorado.  It's been a fun time but as it draws to a close for another year, I do have one BIG favor to ask.  

Can you go and vote for my friend Groot, I mean Frank!

He made an amazing Groot costume - it's HAND MADE! I'm a creative person but this kind of thing just blows me away.  Anyway, he is in the running for a costume contest and I'd love to see him win.  Please take just a second to vote.

You can vote here:  http://woobox.com/cybb5b

You don't have to like the first page, you can if you want, or you can click "skip" and head to the picture page.  From there look for, and vote for,Groot.

I adore his little family and would love to make this a Halloween they will always remember.
Plus, look how awesome their whole family looked, they have some serious talent.

Good luck to them!  And thank you all for voting!
vote here:  http://woobox.com/cybb5b


Oct 25, 2015

DIY Halloween Costumes - T'shirts and Tulle

It is less than a week before Halloween and my girls are without costumes. Now before you panic for me, it's ok! They are getting older and aren't quite as into Halloween as they were in years past. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have to come up with something quick as they do have a party to go.  This happened last year too and we were just fine.   I've learned something over the years that always helps.    

Here what I've leared:  T-shirts + Tulle = fast, inexpensive costumes.

Don't believe me?  Here are three examples from last year that we pulled together really fast.  And, my apologies for the crappy photos.  I forgot to take pictures until we were at the church for the party and all I had was my phone. 


Miss M as Minnie Mouse:  Black t'shirt with red tulle skirt.  I can't really take credit for this as she made her own costume.  But, I helped a little.  She took her tulle, about 6 yards - it was $0.78 cents a yard, and left it folded in half like it comes from the fabric store.  On the fold she ran a super quick hand stitch across the full length and then pulled the thread to make it gather.

From there she took a 3 inch black ribbon, folded it in half and placed it over the fold of the tulle and sewed it in place.  She left extra ribbon in the back to tie the skirt on and create a bow. (sorry, no photos of that).

She paired the skirt, which took about 30 minutes to make with a black t'shirt, leggings (the tulle is see-thru) and mouse ears which she made by attaching felt circles to a head band.  And, she used left over tulle to add a bow. 

See!  Easy!

Bug and Jet as Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West.  They chose these costumes on their own.  Which, since they are twins, I found it really funny.  

Glinda:  To make Jet's costume I grabbed a cheap pink t'shirt from Walmart $3.33, some pink tulle, fake glue-on gems, silver ribbon and poster board.

I started with the t'shirt and tulle.  I gathered the tulle and I sewed it right onto the t'shirt.  It fell at a weird place when added to the bottom hem of the shirt so instead I added it up from the bottom by about 4 inches.  This made the skirt start at her waist instead of her hip.

The first layer I sewed right on to the shirt, this gave it volume.  Then I added a second layer by making a skirt just like Miss M's above only I unfolded the tulle so the skirt was full length and hit the floor.  After it was all put together, I had Jet put it on and I trimmed the bottom so she wasn't tripping on excess tulle.  

I then took the tulle I had trimmed off and attached it to the shoulders of the t'shirt to make puffy sleeves.  Once that was added I just glued on the fake gems to add some sparkle and interest.  And lastly, I made the hat from poster board, painted it silver, added on some silver ribbon and fake gems and that's it - done!    

Elphaba/the Wicked Witch of the West:  For Bug's dashing look we already had a lot of the pieces.  They just needed to be dressed up a bit.  We had the dress and hat.  So, we added a black t'shirt underneath and that was that.  Really truly, she could have been done there by just adding a hat.  However, she looked a little blah.  Here's where the tulle comes in.

Using black tulle, I made her a black tulle cape - sorry, it's a little hard to see in the photo.  What I did is gathered one end of the tulle together by doing a quick stitch and then pulled the thread to gather it.  On that same end, I sewed on black feathers and a ribbon on each end so the cape could be tied around her neck.  It looked a whole lot more witchy that way.  Is witchy a word?

Then I took a $3 Target Spot witches hat and added some tulle for interest.  Add in a little green face paint, some stripped socks, and a broom and this kid was all set.

It all worked about fabulously!  And on the cheap, too!

Also, my previous post I shared my spiders but never showed you where I put them.  I'm not going to share a photo of the whole house but here's a small snippet of what I did.

You can't see it, but my whole porch and unseen railing are currently covered in spider web and spiders.  There are 40 or so spiders of different sizes crawling all over the place.  I also have my "beware of Spiders" sign hanging by my door - so fun!

Happy Halloween to you all!  I'm off to figure out how to make this years costumes.  Wish me luck!

P.S. Update on Ornaments:

The last day to order ornaments will be November 26th.  I know that feels like there is still a lot of time but it will come quick.  And, depending on interest and order amounts, I may end sooner.  If you had wanted to purchase a personalized ornament, please do so soon.  You can order from my Etsy site here: www.etsy.com/shop/Thenshemade

Oct 4, 2015

New Spiders and Ornament Updates

Just a quick little weekend update.  I made more spiders!  I hate spiders -  the real kind, but these - the fake ones, are making my heart happy. 

They are super easy to make and I had Bug and Jet help which meant we had some much needed Mom and Me time.  I pretty much followed the same steps as I did in the tutorial I posted HERE but this time I added heads and left off the googly eyes.  

The goal was to get them hung on my porch this weekend but instead I got hung up with strep!  So, the spiders are all over my living room floor patiently waiting for me to get better so I can hang them up.  Hopefully soon!

Also, not at all related to spiders, I just wanted to let you know the new ornament designs are up and ready for purchase in my ETSY SHOP.  Here's what they look like:

First Christmas Together Ornament.  You can include the couples name, wedding date or First Christmas on the back

And then there are these:

New this year, the Reindeer, The Gold Winged Angel and the two-part Christmas Tree with hanging name.

And, last but not least, I did also list several set of my Christmas Gnomes (or Santas)

Each set has five ornaments in it and all come with different hats and stitching.  These would be cute as ornaments, or hung on a garland, or you could add them to the top of a gift as package decoration.

Ok, and with that, I'm off to rest.  Hoping to kick this strep thing and return to normal soon.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Sep 27, 2015

Fast Fall Treat

I was in need of a super quick fall treat over the weekend but with temps still kinda high here in Colorado I wasn't really wanting to bake.  Hot oven means hot house and well, ya.  Not what I wanted.  

So I pulled out the crock pot and quickly whipped up some candy covered pretzels.  Did you catch that? I said crock pot.  I  may be the only one who didn't know this but you can totally use your crockpot for melting things.  Seems like common sense but I was always told you had to use the microwave or a double-broiler.  Neither of which work for me.  

The microwave is fast but the candy hardens quickly and so you are constantly re-heating and that usually ends up with clumping or burning.  I feel like I throw out more candy melts than I use.  And I get irritated and usually don't end up sticking with it long enough to make more than a handful of treats. 

The double broiler is not ideal because, well, I don't have one.  Simple as that.

For me, the crock pot is an ideal tool for this.  It keeps it at the right temp.  Is easier for kiddos to use and it's portable.  So, if I wanted I could totally sit on my living room floor, watch a movie and dip pretzels for hours.

So, here's what you do if you want to do your own.

What you need:
Candy Melts
Crock pot
Parchment paper
clean hands  

Step 1:  Dump the candy melts into your crock and set on high - DO NOT COVER

Step 2:  Stir regularly.  You want the clumps to melt evenly

Step 3:  Once the candy melts have fully melted, no more clumps, turn heat to WARM.
This is important as you don't want it to continue to cook or burn.

Step 4:  Spread out a large piece of parchment paper close to your crock pot.  Then start dipping.  Once dipped, place on paper to cool and dry.

Tip:  You could dip the whole pretzel but I never do.  I like the balance of taste with only one side dipped.  And, it's easier to dip this way.  You have a place to hold onto without getting your fingers messy.  This works great if you plan to have little kids helping too as it sets a guide for them and they won't burn their fingers

That is pretty much it.  If you have more than one crock pot you can melt multiple flavors at a time.  I did this activity with my Activity Day girls at church over the summer and it was a hit.  We had three colors of pretzels so I did double batches in each crock pot and the girls got to rotate through and dip a handful of pretzels in each color.  They loved it!

And, it will make a lot so this is great if you need to provide snacks or goodies bags for a large group.  Or, think Christmas neighbor gifts.  It's super easy, not all that expensive and using the crock pot to melt the candy saves a lot of frustration!

Enjoy!  And, Happy Fall!


Sep 23, 2015

Happy First day of Fall Y'all!

I'd like to tell you all about all the fantastic fall things I'm working on.  Pumpkin this and pumpkin that but, truth is, other than buying some Halloween decor for Miss M's apartment and eating some yummy Pumpkin ice cream, I've kind skipped right over fall.

Not to worry though, I'll get there!  I get giddy every time I pass the big cardboard box of pumpkins at my local grocery store.  And, I'm excited to make another GIANT SPIDER and decorate our porch with a bazillion of LITTLE SPIDERS, too.  That's my upcoming weekend project.

In the mean time though, I've  pulled out my clay and am happy to say my Etsy shop is back open for the season.  I did this because I've had a lot of emails asking if I'll be offering my custom ornaments again.  Some people are on top it and ready to order now.  So, the answer is yes!

And, kinda a cool thing, new designs are coming too.

These aren't finished yet but watch for a First Christmas together ornament and 

three fun new Christmas designs like the tree above.  

And, if you simple can't wait for the new designs, please know the Etsy shop is open and ready for you to order all the classic designs!   


You'll find these plus more!