Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

Changing the Universe Giveaway

Monday, March 5th, 2012

My friend Nicci just launched her brand new Etsy shop where she sells handmade fabric coasters and throw pillow covers and she asked me if I’d help her spread the word. OF COURSE I said yes – I love having so many talented, crafty friends and I greatly admire someone with enough ambition and talent to throw their hat into the handmade biz ring!

Nicci sent me a set of Zen Garden coasters to try out and they’re even cuter in person than online.

I love that they’re fabric and lined with fleece to absorb drips and protect my coffee table, but also something I don’t have to keep putting out of reach from the kids. In fact, they’re perfect for teaching small people the importance of coasters!

One coaster is good!

So two coasters is better!

Everything is ready-to-ship and made in limited quantities, so if you see a pattern you like buy it quick! I think coasters would make a cute hostess gift for a neighbor or a housewarming gift for a friend – everyone uses cups! And tables! And everyone hates water stains! It’s universal! Nicci’s hoping to add new patterns and fabrics to the shop every couple of weeks. You can follow her blog, her Facebook page and her Twitter for shop updates and new deigns.

AND you can enter to win a set of your choice! Just check out the Changing the Universe shop and leave a comment telling me which item you like the best. Or you can go ahead and order yourself a set and use the code BEBEHBLOG at checkout for a 10% discount.

I’m keeping this one short since I’ll be gone next week, so I’ll draw a winner on Friday. Good luck!

Holiday Handmade Sekret Exchange!

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

I signed up for Audrey’s handmade exchange with some misgivings – not because I didn’t think I would get a wonderful gift, but because between Caroline’s party and Christmas I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make anything even REMOTELY worth sending to another crafty person. I managed to get something in the mail (although I STILL haven’t sent my recipient my guest post) but the really pleasant surprise was a beautiful pouch and delicious macaroons from MY secrket gifter. Check out her guest post below!


Hello!  I am Kelley.  My blog is Casa Crafty where I write about my many crafting experiments, my family and day to day life.

This year, I thought it would be fun to participate in the Handmade Sekret Holiday Exchange from Audrey at Planet Hausfrau.

I did have fun! Although, it is difficult to make something for a stranger, so I searched and read and combed through this here blog to get as much insight into Suzanne as I could.

Sekret Exchange2 (1 of 1) 
I ended up making her a clutch from laminate.  That is not a
particularly new thing for me to do, I sell bags and laminate in my etsy shop .  But, I
thought it might be of more use to her.  So to make it a little
more interesting I did this cross stitch “s” on a wooden
pendant.  I glued some stamped leather on the back (which I am
not so proud of, so it isn’t pictured…) and put it on a key fob.I didn’t take too many pictures of this process because there are so
many great tutorials out

handbag tutorials


I also made a cookie that I have NEVER tried before.
Macaroons with Citrus Cream Frosting
making macaroons1 (1 of 1)


making macaroons4 (1 of 1)

making macaroons2 (1 of 1)

I got the recipe through Creature
, a favorite blog, and decided to do it…They didn’t arrive as prettily as they left here, but what can you
do?  At least they were still edible and yummy.They are time consuming, but not difficult.

They are very intense.

making macaroons3 (1 of 1)
I am glad that everything arrived Suzanne, and I hope you enjoy!
Thank you to Audrey for putting this all together!

Caroline’s Sparkle Snowflake First Birthday

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Theme: Winter sparkle snowflake party, with glitter, pale pink and blue accents
The Location: The entire first floor of my house

This post is going to be HUGE, so if you have no interest at all in Caroline’s party please come back in a few days when it’s been bumped off the front page. I don’t want to put in a page break and have people think I’m trying to trick them into more page views. I get my page views the honest way – exploiting my children and friends!

The Decorations:

winter snowflake sparkle first birthday party

Dining room

Tree branch sprayed with snow-in-a-can

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party crepe paper christmas trees

Ruffled crepe paper trees from this tutorial found on Pinterest

winter snowflake sparkle first birthday party

Living Room

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party paper snowflakes

Snowflakes cut from printer paper (Google “snowflake templates” for ideas)

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party photo dislplay

My clothes pin photo display re-purposed as Caroline’s year in photos display!

winter sparkle glitter snowflake first birthday party candles in mason jars

Epsom salt in mason jars to look like snow

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party

Glitter play dough party favors (more details in this post), yarn wreath, mirror frosted with snow-in-a-can

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party yarn wreath jingle bells

Yarn wreath, $1 picture frame ornament from Target

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party chandelier

Chandelier decorated with dollar store garland & ornaments

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party doily garland

Doily garland

high chair tutu winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party

The orange high chair didn’t match my theme, but a paper table cloth and a little tulle fixed it!

 winter wonderland sparkle snowflake first birthday party

Fake snow everywhere!

The Food:

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

Hot cocoa and cocktail bar – the Keurig made it SO EASY!

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

I bought every single Christmas mug at Goodwill

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

Mini marshmallows, egg nog, powdered sugar, crushed candy canes, vanilla syrup, pink sprinkles, whipped cream, coconut flakes. Also on the bar: dark and milk hot cocoa, cider, Bailey’s, vanilla vodka, coconut rum, peppermint schnapps, mini candy canes.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party hot cocoa bar

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cucumber sandwiches, candy cane blossoms, red peppers & dip

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Smoked salmon, dill & cream cheese on herb bread

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cupcakes (from a box!), my favorite frosting, edible sugar paper snowflakes bought at Stop & Shop

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Sparkling cranberry brie bites. You know how sometimes you seen an idea on Pinterest and think “yeah, there’s no way that idea is going to be as awesome in real life”? This one was JUST AS AWESOME.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Thumbprint cookies, gooey vanilla sparkle cookies, fruit & dip, sugar cookies, ginger cookies, mini pastas on sticks with vodka, marinara, and alfredo sauce.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party coconut snowballs

Coconut snowballs

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

Cream cheese mints, lemon meringues

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party food

The pasta on sticks was a great idea… for grown ups. Next time I’ll get less pointy things.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party snow men milk bottles

Milk bottle snow men. Not quiet as cute as on the interwebs, but still cute.

Lemon cake (more boxed mix!) tinted 3 shades of pink

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

Tiny cake baked in a tomato can, covered in sprinkles & topped with “Caroline” written in chocolate

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

1st Birthday winter snowflake sparkle party smash cake

Don’t even THINK about taking her cake away

The Fun:

Glitter play dough & cookie cutters on a kid-sized table

All the planned activities in the world can’t stop the kids from getting every toy out of the toy box

DIY pull string pinata (more here) was a hit, even though it didn’t work exactly as planned. I had to shake most of the candy out after the ribbon holding it up broke, but the kids didn’t care one little bit.

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

winter sparkle snowflake first birthday party DIY snowglobes

DIY snowglobes were cuter in theory than in reality. They were kind of leaky and some of the trees dyed the water purple and the glue was messy, but everyone went home with one!

Sharing strawberries with a friend

Refusing to wear her hair bow

Dance party!

These two are TROUBLE

Playing with Grandma

Somebody got a pony for her birthday! (She’s kind of scared of it though)

Family photos with two kids – there is ALWAYS someone not looking.

Holy crap, that was ridiculously long. I think I got all the links and recipes in there but if you’re looking for something let me know. My Pinterest board for the party (with most of the ideas I did use and some really good ones I didn’t get around to) can be found here.  I’m sorry most of the photos are terrible – it gets dark REALLY early here so I had to use the flash after the first 30 minutes of the party. It was definitely a great time and I know Caroline enjoyed herself. I hear everyone’s kids slept really well on Saturday night so I think they ran off all the sugar I pumped into them before they went home. Thank you to everyone who came and especially to my mother-in-law Carol who flew all the way from Ohio just to help me make the food and watch Little Evan for a few hours!

And Happy Birthday Caroline!

Vintage Halloween Hop

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Welcome to the way-back machine, where we take a look at Halloween costumes past. This was Amy’s awesome idea, but she agreed to share with me because she’s my BIFF (best internet friend forever). I was one of those kids whose mom handmade all her costumes, which NOW I think was awesome but at I time I thought was SO LAME. Why couldn’t I have a cheap plastic Little Mermaid costume like all the other kids? (I mean besides the fact that my mom wasn’t crazy enough to let me Trick-or-Treat in 40 degree temps wearing a seashell bra.) Check out some of the best ones:

(Apologies for crappy scanned photos – my mom did them as PDF’s & changing them ruined the quality)

I am probably 3 1/2 or 4, based on the baby swing for my sister in the background. This one was actually made by my grandmother when my mom was a kid - I loved vintage, even as a toddler! Except back then we called it "dress up".

I am a bride and my sister is a fairy princess. My veil was made out of an old pair of curtains and I can still remember exactly how they smelled. I have no idea why I am holding wrapped presents.

This time I'M the fairy princess and Carolyn is an angel. There were other years with the same tutus/wands/wings combos - princess bride, ballerina princess, fairy bride, ballerina fairy. Whatever. Gimme a tutu and a crown and I am HAPPY. I should add my mom hand sewed all the sequins to all the tutus in all these pictures. WITH HER HANDS.

I wore this costume to school and I LOVED it. My grandmother made it (including the wig) for my mom when she was a kid. I remember being really sad when I outgrew it a few years later and couldn't wear it again. And check out the super sexy base housing in the background (this was the only time we ever lived on base.)

This was the BEST costume I ever wore. Not only did my mom make the genie costume by hand (out of satin! which is so hard to sew with! Project Runway taught me that!) but she made it FOR HERSELF when she was in middle school. AMAZING! She made Carolyn the Tiger Lily costume (we were obsessed with the live-action Peter Pan with Mary Martin where Tiger Lily is a blond) and she probably made Drew's costume too. Mother of the decade, amiright?

And this one again, because we all look so great and because I like scaring my middle school BFF by posting pictures of her on the internet (She reads my blog! How crazy is that?!)

Now it’s your turn! Link up a vintage-inspired Halloween post. It can be a photo of your costume from high school, a story about trick-or-treating in your snowboots, or memories of your best costume as a kid. Whatever you want! The linky will be open all weekend so be sure to check back and hop around to see everyone’s posts and link up. It’s a great way to get ideas for Halloween next year – I am totally going to talk my mom into making make Little Evan a clown costume.



Knitting Up A Storm

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

I am a knitting machine! Well, no, not an actual knitting machine – which is a thing – but someone who has been doing a lot of knitting. I am BETTER than a machine, because all my stuff is made with love. And baby slobber. And dog hair. But mostly love.

Here’s what’s been on my needles:

I saw a pair of knit leggings on Pinterest a few weeks ago (which of course I didn’t repin, so I can’t link to the picture now) and thought “hey, I could totally do that”. So I did. Patternless, off the top of my head. Unfortunately, although he was EXTREMELY happy to model them for these photos, yellow leggings don’t really go with the rest of Little Evan’s wardrobe – so these have been shipped off to someone who I know will look even cuter in them.

Pumpkin hat. Caroline’s got one too. Pattern half made up in my head, half from this site.

My first try at this adorable knit necklace my friend Megan made based on the pattern here. It’s two strips knit separately and woven together. You can wear it this way or reverse it for a different braid pattern. I’m going to make a dozen more.

I was afraid I had waited too long to finish this dress I started in the spring, and Caroline would have grown out of the small size before I was done, but with a onesie and leggings it’s still perfect for fall. I’ve never knitted pleats before and was worried they were above my skill level but it turns out they’re totally manageable – even for the kind of disjointed, interrupted, stop and start knitting I do most of the time. (The pattern is called Fiona Baby Sundress and is available for free on Ravelry as a download.)

Classic nautical pea coat buttons in fun colors

Love the pointed hood

If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember me knitting Phoebe Mouse and Phoebe’s sweater. The book also included a toddler sized version of the doll sweater – unfortunately, it was for a 2 year old and my baby is a peanut. So I used the pattern for the mouse-sized coat and did a little math and made it Caroline sized. I’m SO EXCITED that it fits and that she has a beautiful fall coat now. It makes me feel like Caroline Ingalls (who is honest to God one of my actual heroes) that something I made is so FUNCTIONAL. It’s more than a hobby! I make CLOTHES.

I wanted to finish this cowl before I wrote a post about what I was knitting, so I sped through the last 2 inches during every spare minute yesterday. My husband literally took this picture for me at 9:30 last night. It’s the most basic cowl you can possibly make (cast on an odd number of stitches, knit 1 purl 1 until it’s long enough, bind off) but I help the multi-toned yarn double so it’s super warm and comfy.

And finally, one more quick bunny I’ve had 50% finished on a stitch holder since BlogHer in August. It took less than 10 minutes to finish and it feels SO GOOD to now having it staring at me every time I open my knitting bag. FACELESS BUNNY WAS JUDGING ME.

Now all I have to do is finish the sweater I started for E a full year ago – and the one I started for myself even longer ago than that. WHY can’t person-sized sweaters be as fast and fun and easy as baby stuff?! But I will get them done. It’s what Ma Ingalls would want.