October 28, 2013

Princess Bedroom Ideas (+ DIY Canopy Tutorial)

Who doesn't want a princess room? 

My cousin recently bought a home so I eagerly volunteered to help with paint colors and room decor for the kids' spaces. My 4-yr old niece is all about the Disney princesses and more importantly the BRIGHT and not always coordinating colors that come with them. I started by creating an inspiration board on Pinterest. It proved very helpful as we went back and forth about colors, fabrics, decor, etc. The previous homeowners are downsizing, so my cousin scored an amazing bedroom set with the house. It is off white with a blue/green wash.

Around the Room:

I stumbled up on this adorable bedding by Snurk, a Dutch company, that makes beautiful stuff. I needed the princess graphic to center on full size duvet, so I contacted the company and request a special one be printed. Great service and the duvet is beautiful! 
Snurk Princess Duvet
The colors we chose are a much more muted palate that Disney Princesses general dictate. I'm not saying that there won't be a princess presence, they just won't be taking up an entire wall or four. :)  To highlight the furniture, I recommended Love and Wickham Gray both by Benjamin Moore. Wickham Gray might be a tad too light on the walls, but I think it will suit the final project beautifully.

Canopy Tutorial:

A princess room is not complete without a canopy! Other projects posted as we get to them...but for now, here's the how to.

Embroidery Hoop - I used a 10" one
Ribbon, fishing line, or strips of Tulle - about 8-12" depending on ceiling height
Tulle (or light weight curtains) - I used 6 yards, but probably could have done it with 5

1. Cut Tulle into 2 equal pieces
2. Sew 1" casing on one edge of tulle (skip this if you have a pre made curtain)
3. Slide outer hoop through casing
4. Tie ribbon, fishing line, or tulle onto inner hoop in 3 or 4 equally spaced spots around the hoop.
5. Place inner hoop in outer hoop and tighten  (make sure fabric is equally distributed around hoop with opening on the side opposite of the outer hoop's screw.
6. Embellish outer hoop with trim if you wish. I fabric glued some sequins to it. You could cut out a piece to look like a felt crown or use nothing at all.
7. Suspend from ceiling using ceiling hook.

September 4, 2012

Halloween with a Toddler

So I started this entry almost ONE YEAR AGO! That tells you what my life with a toddler has been like.
Now, as I was saying:

I had visions of grandeur when it came to Halloween with my newly-turned-1-year-old. I pictured a caravan of her neighborhood buddies (also recently-turned-1-year-old's) going from house to house saying 'wick or tweet' or whatever other sounds they could come up with to get their point across. We agreed to meet at our house for pictures and decided that we'd go up the main road towards my mother-in-law's - about four blocks.

Here's what really happened.

It was chillier than we'd expected, so quick costume modifications were needed. My little giraffe donned a cape. So she ended up looking like either a race-giraffe (do they do anything competitively?) or The Giraffe who ate Little Miss Riding Hood. Either way, it was cute, and nobody cared. 

There are no perfectly posed pictures because it was much like herding cats getting them to look at any camera all at once. Baby B didn't really understand what Trick-or-Treating meant and was pretty gun shy about walking up to a stranger's door with her little hand stitched sack. So we tried over and over and over and OVER again until finally we reached Grammie's house. Instead of taking candy from people, my Giraffe tried to share or trade her candy away.  
I'd say that for a first (well technically 2nd Halloween) she did pretty well. There was no crying or melt downs and she started to understand what was happening as we walked back to our house. 

Lessons Learned
  1. Go out early. Big kids are ruthless, mean even. Toddlers aren't candy-hoarding monsters yet. 
  2. Take lots of pictures. You can use them as blackmail later or in a wedding montage - is there really a difference?
  3. Choose a costume appropriate for the weather, your child's temperament and ease of movement. Baby B's costume was a full jumper with long sleeves and full pants which made it perfect for a Fall day in Chicago. 

So what am I going to do with her this year? I've sewn her a Princess Jasmine inspired romper to wear as her costume. I started with instructions from Make It Love It and made some modifications such as using ribbon instead of casing elastic for the sleeves and wider elastic at the cuffs along with a wider flare to make the bottoms look more like harem pants. I have some finishing to do and modifications to make since I made my own pattern and didn't really measure her waist. It's my first attempt, so we'll see how it goes. The romper was easy enough...the bias tape out of satiny costume fabric....not so much. Next up is attaching a tulle 1/2 skirt and some bedazzling to finish. Ideas welcome.

November 26, 2011


I am almost done with my holiday shopping and didn't leave my house to fight off crazy people like that pepper spray lady in California. I have been scouring the web and the TGIBF app on my phone to scope out the best deals for the dozen or so on my list.

My sister-in-law was over last weekend and helped me put our tree up ahead of schedule. I even finished our holiday cards. I am setting holiday-to-do-list records all over the place!
I was missing one address- Husband's grandmother, the last one he has left. She moved into assisted living care a few months ago and I didn't have her new address. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving MIL texted it to us. G-ma always looked forward to cards, especially now that we had super cute Baby B photos to send.

Our cards were stuffed, stacked, and stamped ready for deployment around the US and a few across the ocean.
With our final card addressed, I was feeling pretty good about our 2011 holiday preparedness. I went about my sweet potato making and turkey cookie assembling on the eve of Thanksgiving.

We had BIG plans for Turkey Day. Husband's family (myself included) thought starting a new tradition this year involving physical fitness would be a good way to earn the meal that we had worked so hard to prepare. Typically Husband's family went to aee a spy movie. Every. Year.

The local Lion's Club hosts an organized 5k Turkey Trot and entire families participate. We are not those people. As to not embarrass ourselves, we plotted our own route. Or shall I say Husband's Brother-in-Law took the initiative to plot what he called, "a relatively flat" route. It is important to note that of the six of us running our fake five k, he is the only one who didn't grow up within a mile of this route. He happened to include one of the steepest inclines in our entire town. So the moaning and groaning aside, we got moving. I may may have made it five or six blocks before a my pride gave way to something much worse, my asthma plus the last ten lbs of baby weight that I probably can't call baby weight since I have a TODDLER! I digress.

I returned to the starting blocks...my MIL's house where we'd left Baby B for the run. I was disappointed in my sad performance, but as my MIL pointed out, there's always next year. A new family tradition was born.

After the rest of the family retuned and bonded over aches pains and that stupid hill! We went our separate ways for a few hours of cooking, football and turkey making.

Husband is a tradition junkie. His buddies get together and play football. Apparently there are touchdowns and tantrums. Every. Year.

He retuned home and was busily chattering about the game and mentioned that his sister wanted us to spend family time together before other guests arrived. I was roasting my fifth batch of potatoes, thinking about drying my hair, and dressing Baby B (who had just woken up from a nap with CRAZY hair).

With the potatoes done, cookies packed, hair still wet and baby dressed, we loaded the car and headed to MIL's house. We didn't make it there in time for family time. We were welcomed by the savory smell of turkey and hugs from family. Odd since I'd seen everyone just a few hours before. Then Husband pulled me aside and told me something that made the hugs make sense.

His grandmother had died a few hours ago. While I was potato roasting and Baby was napping and Husband was football playing. And, as it turned out, she was dying. At first I didn't think I heard him correctly. She was in pain and it was her time. I wish it had been more peaceful or that she had been given something for the pain. She was a few days away from hospice care and the pain management meds that come with the end of life. I had only met her a few times. Once while Husband and I were just dating and earlier this year to introduce Baby B.

The next day I was ready to mail out our cards. G-ma's card was on top since her's was the last missing address on our list. I put it on our desk not sure if I should throw it out, recycle it or mail it anyway. It is still sitting there in mourning. Like a little reminder of our relationship with her.