Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pioneer Dress

I've been giving sewing lessons to a young woman in my neighborhood.  She needed a pioneer dress for a themed youth-activity (a youth conference trek, for my LDS readers) and together we made her this pioneer dress:

I think it's rather a pretty color of blue, and even nicer with the bright yellow apron and blue bonnet.  We used McCalls 4548 for the dress and apron, and McCalls 9423 for the bonnet.

It was fun to make, and I have thoroughly been enjoying my student's enthusiasm at learning to make her own dress! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thrifting Treasures

Oh, I really like garage sale season. Our neighborhood had a huge garage sale a few weeks back and I really enjoyed searching out deals. Plus, I sometimes like to head over to our local Salvation Army or Goodwill to do a little thrifting when I need a break from day-to-day life, you know?

I got these two cute Radio Flyers at the big garage sale.  Both the scooter and the wagon are for my three year old.  He picked out the wagon himself and had such fun pulling it around.  And, he kept trying to find things to put in it, so the sweet lady selling it gave him a little wooden box to put in it.  The wagon is super cute, not only as a fun toy, but couldn't you see it as a centerpiece for a wagon or tricycle themed baby shower or something?  I could...and I totally will if given the opportunity.  :)

He picked out the wagon himself and had such fun pulling it around. And, he kept trying to find things to put in it, so the sweet lady selling it gave him a little wooden box to put in it. The wagon is super cute, not only as a fun toy, but couldn't you see it as a centerpiece for a wagon or tricycle themed baby shower or something? I could...and I totally will if given the opportunity. :)

And look at all the books I scored!  Some of those board books are practically new.  And, I love finding vintage books.  I collect Golden Books, so those are always fun to find.  But, the vintage Dr. Suess and Eloise Wilkin books are super-awesome.  Oh, and there's Twilight Books and a Sinatra CD in there, too.

I got all those books, the wagon, and the scooter for about $10.  Not too shabby. 
And here's my thrift store haul:

Can you believe those shoes?! 

Normally, I wouldn't necessarily buy thrift-store shoes.  It grosses me out a tad.  But, these were practically new, and GORGEOUS, and only $3.  I wore them 4th of July weekend with a denim skirt, a blue and white top, and a red necklace.  It was really cute.  No pictures, though.  Bad blogger.  :)

The record in the back of the shot is of the Buffalo Bills.  They're the guys that sing in the quartet of the "school board" in The Music Man.  I don't actually have a record player to play it (my record player--a purple one bought at a garage sale when I was like 8, by the way--only plays 45s, the little records).  But, I want one.  And, I couldn't let this awesome record pass by.  Is it totally weird that I'm excited about it?  Probably. 

And for like 50 cents or something, I found this sweet little tea set.  Yeah, I know.  I only have boys.  But, I have nieces.  And there was a cute little wooden box nearby just waiting to be gussied up to store a cute little tea set.  Of course, it's at the end of a very long "to make" list, so we'll see when I get to it...
And, finally, I found two cute little bud vases. 

I've always needed some little tiny bud vases, since my boys are forever bringing me dandelions and assorted wildflowers, which just don't fit in a regular vase. And I hate just throwing them away right away. They're like little symbols of love from my boys. So, now I have a place to put them. One is milk glass, a smaller version of one my mom had when I was a kid. And the other is pewter. Sort of. It's like 3% pewter and the rest is tin. But, I'm still going with pewter. :) By the way, the picture makes it hard to tell dimensions very well.   The roses that are modeling the vases for me are teeny tiny cupcake roses.  Don't you love the name Cupcake Rose?  I have a bush in my yard, and I'm loving snipping off tiny roses to put in my new vases!

None of the above stuff cost me very much at all.  And yet, as you can see by the vast number of smiley faces in my post, have given me much pleasure.  Yay for thrifting treasures!  :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Harry Potter Party

I hope everyone had a fabulous Fourth of July!  Now that we're done celebrating, it's time to get down to business...  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, is being released in only 10 days.  :) 

I am a serious Harry Potter fan.  I started reading the books in my early 20s and fell in love.  My boys have caught the bug, too.  One of my 8 year olds has read all of the books, the earlier books at least 5 times each.  He has bought himself his own copies of many of the books so he doesn't have to share them and can read them as often as he likes.  The older boys have even taught the 3 year old some spells.  There's not much cuter than a pudgy little boy pointing a tinker toy at you and shouting, "Ex-pewo-ee-armus!"  That's Expelliarumus, for those of you who don't read 3-year-old.  :) 

So, of course, our family enjoys having Harry Potter fun whenever we can.  We had two Harry Potter parties in the last year.  First, for the movie release back in November, and then this spring for my twins' birthday party.  The movie party was for the adults (and teenagers) who were going to the midnight release showings. 

Since some of you are probably planning movie release parties of your own, I'll show you what I did for my last movie release party.  (I'm tweaking an old post I wrote about it on my family blog before I became a craft blogger.  So, the pictures are less than stellar, and I'm lacking a few sources.  If anyone recognizes a source, give me a shout-out and I'll post it.) 

I sent out invitations that looked like the letters Hogwarts sends out to let kids know they've been accepted. I even had Harry Potter style fonts (Lumos and Harry P from  (Minerva McGonagall's signature from The Leaky Cauldron)


I had a fun time decorating and doing the food for the party. I made 36 Gryffindor scarves out of gold and maroon fleece.  I sewed together alternating strips of gold and maroon until it was long enough to be a scarf, then cut in the opposite direction to make striped scarves.  It was a fair amount of work, but much less than if I'd sewn a million little squares together.  We had enough no-shows from the party that I had left overs to give out as party favors at the birthday party the next spring.

I turned joke glasses into Harry Potter glasses by removing the nose and cutting off the eyebrows from the glasses.  Way cheaper (at around $2 for 12) than ordering similar Harry Potter glasses from a party store.

I made house banners out of felt and iron-ons made from graphics I found online.

I even turned my porch into Platform 9 3/4, with a red brick "wall" made from felt hanging from a shower curtain rod over my doorway.  (Idea for the wall from Martha Shmartha.)
I was pleased with the fun food I came up with.
I made pumpkin pasties, which turned out really, really yummy.  I just mixed canned pumpkin with some sugar, nutmeg, and allspice.  I made my favorite pie crust and cut it into circles.  I put a dollop of pie filling inside, folded the circles in half and crimped the edges.  I baked them about 10 minutes at 350, I think--it's been awhile and I didn't think to write that down.  Ooops.  :)  I made a glaze of powdered sugar and water and brushed it on after they'd cooled. 
I found labels online (which I've sadly lost the link for, so I can't credit the designer.  If anyone recognizes them, let me know!  *EDIT* They are available here.) for butterbeer from The Three Broomsticks, and The Hog's Head Tavern, that I printed off and taped to IBC cream soda:

We had Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Pretzel and Licorice wands, Dumbledore's lemon drops, and Chocolate Frogs (which I made from melted chocolate chips with a frog mold I bought at Hobby Lobby).  And, we had Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, which were really Jelly Belly's Bean Boozled beans, so they really were every flavor, including Baby Wipes and Centipede.  I was most excited about the Fizzing Whizbees, which were the new Fizzl'd Fruits Skittles, which have a Pop-Rock-like powder coating on them, so they actually fizz. 
The decorations were mostly the banners and Harry Potter movies and books (as well as the Entertainment Weekly with the Harry Potter cover) displayed around the house.  But, I did add this cute little sign and this owl, which is actually a Christmas decoration I found at Target.  And, we had a House Cup, filled with Gringott's Gold (ie, chocolate coins) to go to the winning team in the Harry Potter Trivia Challenge (Gryffindor won, which I thought was appropriate). 
I also printed out some movie posters, including the fun Undesirable No. 1 posters you could make on the movie's website, with my party guests' faces in them.  And, I bought a cheap Halloween broom and had it float (hang from fishing line) in the living room next to a Broom Parking sign. 

After the food and fun, we headed to the movie theater for the midnight showing. 

To adapt it for a kids' party, I pretty much added some kid-friendly games and made a birthday cake instead of some of the other food I'd made for the first party.  I reused most of the decorations.  It made for a pretty easy home birthday party!

I made a simple sheet cake with a lightning bolt on top for the birthday cake at our Harry Potter Birthday Party.  It wasn't very well decorated, but it was a busy weekend and I ran out of steam.  You can still see the crumb coat (I ran out of frosting and decided the kids wouldn't care.)
We had Butterbeers again.  The kids had never heard of cream soda.  Weird. 
The treat bags.  I printed the Harry Potter logo on plain lunch sacks.  Inside were Harry Potter silly bandz, Harry Potter stickers, HP glasses, and candy of their choosing from the candy jars by the cake.  They also each got a homemade (leftover from the other party) Gryffindor scarf. 
No, that's not a "flying ring" taped to my wall.  It's an Indoor Quidditch hoop!  They had to get 3 quaffles (nerf balls) through the hoop. 
We also played "Pin the Scar on Harry."  And, the entrance activity (as we waited for everyone to arrive) was to draw pictures of Hogwarts.  (Don't laugh at my drawing ability, or lack thereof!  :) Drawing is NOT one of my talents.)

So, there you go, my two Harry Potter parties.  I won't be throwing a Harry Potter party this year, since we've got other things going on this month, but you can bet I'll be seeing the movie on opening day!  How about the rest of you Harry Potter fans?  Are you throwing midnight release parties? 

These boy party ideas were also featured on Spaceships and Laser Beams.
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