Circus Shower for Baby Sax

This was such a fun event to plan!  It was set in a beautiful home, and we had beautiful guests!

I ordered the invites from Tiny Prints, which started things off right!  I searched Etsy, found a wonderful shop LeeLaaLoo, which does amazing digital files for any party need you have!  She was a pleasure to work with and I got my files quickly!  There were so many things in there!  Flags, banners, games, signs, photo props and more!  I got some generic printables and some customized ones.  I started printing!
I think that my biggest challenge when throwing an event like this is to control myself and to not go overboard.   Really.  I do.  Most of the time.  But hey it always turns out amazing!  Drive my husband nuts, but he knows me by now and how I get way involved!

 

I stuck with bright, bold colors.  I love my chalk board collection and chalk ink markers.  I use them for everything!  I have to admit I draw like a little kid, but I think that it turned out pretty cute!

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As the guests arrived they immediately would see the gift table.  I really wanted to make sure this just wasn’t some boring little table that all those little pretty packages would get plopped on.   The printable pack had a customized banner that we hung above the table.  We added a few fun balloons and I made some diaper cakes.  Who doesn’t love diaper cakes?!  I had some hidden intentions with these.  I love how they look.  Love.  Fun, bright, and packed full of goodies!  I used a pack of diapers for the bases, made some double-sided receiving blankets, and packed it with as many goodies as I could.  CJ’s Butter, Burt’s Bee’s, some Aden & Anais goodies and more.  Mama loved them, guests were impressed, my job is done!

 

 

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Isn’t this room amazing!  The room was full of light even though it was a rainy day.  I filled apothecary jars full of orange marshmallow peanuts, clown noses and red and white striped candies.  We used cheap raffle tickets from the dollar store as confetti giving the tables an additional pop.

 

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We raided the dollar store weeks before this shower, and we were lucky enough to find small plastic animals, rhinos, giraffe’s, lion’s, and tigers.  I have a wonderful, yet brave father in law who took on the task of spraying all of those little critters for me in a high gloss paint.  I couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out.

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This was my baby.  The first thing that I thought about when I was asked to do this shower was the dessert table.   I had so many ideas!  It was hard to pick and STICK with them!  I couldn’t be happier with the response that I had from this!

 

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I bought that darling white cupcake ferris wheel on amazon.  It was a little tough to get the cupcakes in and out, but who cares its cute!  Gum balls were used as a jar filler, and the table runner was a steal at Home Goods.

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Funfetti cupcakes, from scratch, no box mixes here.  Yummm-o.

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I also made animal cookie cake truffles.  They were so pretty and tasted so good!

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We had a few extra animal cookies, used them as topper’s on Aunt Deb’s famous cheesecake bars.

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I really wanted to have a fun favor to give to our guests.  Not some cheesy little baby rattles or something that you throw in your junk drawer the second you get home.  Edibles are always a safe route.  Cotton Candy is one of those treats that you can usually only get at a circus or fair.  I didn’t think that it would be a possibility to have some fluffy sugar at the party, but I am blessed to live in the SF Bay Area, and I found a few places!  We decided on Sugar and Spun in San Francisco.    They came in those little tubs too.  Made it really easy!  The tags were also from the printable pack, tied off with some simple ribbons.  And I am sure that you are curious….Cookies & Cream and Strawberries & Cream where our flavors!  It was so yummy!

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In the weeks leading to the shower, I started drinking and giving away the Starbucks bottled drinks.  Saved those bottles and began taking off all of the stickies.  The printable pack had general and customized labels.   I mixed them both and used blue and yellow paper straws, filling them with blue sparkling drinks.

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This was a great shower!  The theme was classic and sweet for my little nephew!  I can’t wait to plan another one of these showers, it was a lot of fun!

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Ho ho holy moly it’s December!

it’s the season to get crafty people! What are you making?!

How cute is this bag! Would be fun to make for Christmas gifts for those crafty people in your life!

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I have started to find some time to sew again! It’s still hard don’t get me wrong! But I sneak it in here and there.

As I’m spending hours on the couch nursing my daughter I dream of all the delicious fabric and bright threads that are calling my name up in my craftorium!

I started working on my first red work piece, a darling trio of snowmen. I’ve gotten two of the three musketeers complete, hoping to give them away for a Christmas gift…if I can finish them!

In the time I do have to “fun sew”, meaning things I don’t have to do, like fixing uniforms or making and repairing things for others, I’ve decided I need to work on the huge bin of things that are half done. So many misfits in my bin of have completed things! Like most crafters, I have a horrible addiction to fabric. I have way to much, but it doesn’t ever stop me from getting more! Now that we have a baby, I know that I have plenty of fabric to get me through doomsday. I must resist!
When I was pregnant I got on the charm pack disappearing nines quilt kick. I prepped and got all of my nine charm squares sewn, and that’s where it stopped. I have a problem over buying fabric with dreams of making this or that, but then time and life get in the way, and then that fabric dream fizzles rather fast! The other half of this is what do I do with this amazing hand crafted piece of art when I’m done?! Sell it? Gift it? Well this charm pack quilt will be finished, soon! I haven’t decided what to do with it, but I have decided it needs to be finished! Parting with it will come later!
The darling fabric line dig out of my stash is Riley Blake’s Sweetcakes charm pack. I ordered them from fabric.com awhile back. It’s so darn cute! Bright colors and tiny cakes & hearts! The top is complete, I will post photos soon!

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Nursery madness begins!

Hey y’all!!  So we decided on Charlotte’s nursery theme!  A mermaid/nautical with bright fun girly colors!  And of course there will be LOTS of getting hot chocolate wasted crafty!  We can’t begin to tell you how excited we all are to welcome this lil one, and we are having fun putting this special space together for her!

So, I started off by picking the textiles, which I think that this is the only way to start such a large project.  I found this adorable, whimsical fabric by  Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.  I bought almost every piece in the line from fabric.com.  I love ordering from fabric.com!  Always great prices and free shipping over $35!  I ordered a little bit of each one, plus some others.

We bought the crib and changing from a dear friend which belonged to her daughter and was in great shape. I also bought this changing table for all of my cloth diaper stash.   An old dresser that belonged to my great grandmother is getting an uplift from Dad.  We are still trying to decide on a rocker.

For wall color, we chose Kelly Moore Pool Party, its a beautiful soft cool blue. The dresser is also Kelly Moore in Lively Coral.

I will keep y’all posted on where this fun project goes!!!

Jungle Play Time Floor Blankie

Well, it’s been some time!  I’ve been baking a baby, yes, that’s right!  We are expecting our first child in August, and we couldn’t be more excited!  I am already planning all of the diabolical craftiness that will come!  So, I took a little break from blogging and crafting while I got through the ever so infamous first trimester.   I am feeling so much better!

So, with all my excuses out of the way, on to the crafting!  I started my blog journey off during the holidays, so it was only natural to post one of my many crafting talents, home decor and baking!  But sewbakelove is also about, well, sewing!  It has been a great passion of mine for so many years, and I have learned many new tips and tricks from family, friends and blogs of course!

This was a little project that I put together today for two special little boys.  A co-worker is adopting two precious little brothers.  How exciting!  They are young, but not baby’s, and lately my focus has been on all the little bambino’s that have been popping up.  This was a fun & simple project, and I hope that they love them!

I think that a lot of people think that making a blanket is huge under taking, that it’s so much work, and will take a long time.  While that mostly is true, there are some short cuts, it doesn’t always have to be a huge undertaking.

I’ve been trying to use the ridiculous stash of fabric that I have aquired over the years.  And, since Baby Von is coming soon, by secondary back-up crafty room/storage area needs to be overhauled.  There is a crib in there, somewhere…under the yards and yards of flannel thats currently taking up the space where my child will eventually slumber.  On that note, I searched in my closet and found these super cute jungle panels that I had forgotten that I had!  I found these at a Joann’s store that was relocating to a different part of town, and everything was 70-80% off!!!  Usually the panels are pretty pricey, but at this price, I couldn’t pass them up, and I bought 3 of them.  Seeing them, I knew that these would be a perfect, cheery play time floor blankie for these precious little boys!  They are a perfect size, super cute jungle buddies on the front, and I made them nice and thick so they would hold up.  Here’s how I used what I had on hand to dress up this panel to make these fun gifts!

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The panel measures at 35×40, however, the were VERY uneven!  After washing and pressing, there was a good portion that had to be trimmed because the seams were all wonky!  Annoying says the girl who will rip seams til the wee hours for straight lines!  Grr!  Well, there is always a way I say!  I will get to how I fixed them soon.

The outer borders are made of flannel, and the animals are a thick, uber soft felt.  The felt gives the panel a adorable 3d look & feel.  The sun is made of a satin, giving it some shine.

Since the boys are bigger, I wanted to make something that they can use when they play on the floor, or nap, that would be cute and comfortable.  I used two layers of cottonImage batting, and used anti pill fleece for the backing.  I decided to not do binding on these, instead I serged the edges.  This not only gives it a cool look, it was super fast!

After pre-washing and pressing, a must with all projects, I laid the panel out on top of the two layers of batting and fleece.  Pin all layers together, making sure all layers are flat and smoothed out.  Always, always, make sure you have an extra allowance for your batting and backing!  You will thank me later!  After pinning, quilting and top stitching, things move and shift around.  There is nothing worse than having a wonky edge or you are short somewhere due to your fabric moving.  And trust me, it will move a little even if you press and pin.

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Next step, decide what you want to quilt.  Since this panel is adorable on its own, I didn’t want to do too much, but wanted add something to it, and ensure that the top piece is attached to the batting to prevent shifting in the future.  I used a dark brown thread, and stitched in the ditch around the brown borders.

For those new to sewing that have never heard of “stitching in the ditch”, its pretty awesome.  It’s an easy and quick way to attached pieces together through batting or just attaching the top piece or panel, to the batting as I did here.  You can use a regular foot or a walking foot to do this.

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As you can see, you stitch, right in between your fabrics, in the ditch!  Go slow until you get the hang of things!  You will have an invisable stitch if you take your time!

Another awesome tool in my crafty aresenal, are these crafty life changing pens!  I read this on another blog so long ago, and I can’t rememeber which one, but man oh man!  These are the best!  The Pilot Frixion Ball pen’s are just a normal erasable ink pen, you can get them anywhere the sell office supplies, but they are like magic on fabric!  I use these when I quilt, embroider, or need to mark on fabric for cutting or stitching marks.  They dissapear when you iron them!  And you barely have to put the iron on before it dissapears!  It truly is the best marking pen for fabric.  No chalk, no pencil, no washing.  Awesome.  Always test it out on your fabrics, I have used it on cotton, flannel, fleece and ribbon.  So far so good!

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I love these, and it makes drafting a quilting design so effortless!  You can draw and make what ever designs, then just erase it if it doesn’t look right.  This panel is very cute, and I wanted to add a few more details.  I chose to outline the grass and have the elephant squirt out some water of his cute trunk.

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Use the Frixion pen, draw out your design.  Choose your thread color and change your sewing machine foot to the quilting foot.  Also, bring the thread though the hole and out to the side, and make sure all of your screws are on nice and snug. Make sure you lower the lower feed dog on your sewing machine.

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Now, if you have never ever played with this foot and lowering the feed dogs, practice, a bunch, before you quilt on your labor of love!  It is a fun skill, but it does take a lot of practice.  Use old fabric scraps with some batting and do some free hand and also practice with your Frixion pen to get really comfortable with tracing designs.  Since you are lowering the feed dogs, you will be the only force moving your fabric.  The faster the speed the more control you will have.  Also, be careful not to sew over your finger.  This hurts, a lot.  Don’t do it.  Some people use gloves to protect themselves and also to get a better grip on the fabric that they are guiding.  Also, you will most likey, depending on the size of your project, want to roll or fold the sides of your piece, to have better control over it, and also so it fits in the work space of your machine.

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I am most comfortable working from the far end in towards me.  Before I start my line, I stitch in place a few times to have a grounded point.  Follow your line and I gave it a little swirl at the end.

ImageYou can use your lines exacly or as a guide.  When it comes down to the quilting, I do my best to stick to the plan and keep it controled, but it can get away from ya.  Little boo boo’s here are ok in my book, gives it character!  It is difficult to seam rip qulting because there are so many sticthes going into the material because your feed dog is down, and because you are hauling butt on that pedal.  But thats why I say practice practice practice!!

After you are fininshed quilting, just place your iron over the stiching and watch your pen marks disapear!

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Ok, so remember how I said that these panels are all wonky? Well, here’s how I fixed that problem!  Cutting something like this at times can, well suck.  You can measure wrong and then you have cut too much.   You can NEVER go back once you cut.  Instead, I used y Frixion pen, and made marks along the edge.  I used that as a cutting point when I surged the edges.  I did a 3 inch edge from the brown fabric, which was even and straight.

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I serged and cut the edges, man I love my serger!!!  Tied off the edges and used a dab of fray check on each corner.

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Once the fray check was dried, I gave it a final press!

Both of these from beging to end took me about an hour and a half!  For two blankies!  Uh yes please!!!!

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So, now what?!

Hello everyone!!! Wow, I can’t believe that this blog is actually real now!!!  I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it!!!

For me, this was a decision that I have been wanting to make for quite some time.  Over the years, my crafting skills have grown leaps and bounds.   I started when I was an early teen, scrapbooking, crocheting, and sewing of course!!!  And let me tell you, it wasn’t always awesome!  From pants that had the legs sewn shut, crooked quilts and hours of seam ripping, here we are.  I learned so much along the way, mainly from my grandma Blanche.  She has been sewing since she was young, and I am so happy that she has passed the gift on to me.  I have also learned from many friends, and with so much inspiration out there, its hard to not have my mind constantly stuffed with something crafty.  I have always had an eye and desire to make things, and over time, I have gotten pretty darn good at it.  I have heard countless times from friends, family, and strangers, “Hey, you should sell this!” or “How come you do market yourself”.  Well, I guess the answer is, I love doing it, but who would want to listen to me talk sewing,crafting or baking?  No one would actually pay me to do this!  Well, it hit me over the past month, that maybe, just maybe I could!  Maybe people really aren’t lying to me and want to see more!

So, here we go!  With so much love and support from my dear husband, family and friends, we are all going to see how this journey unfolds!!!  I can’t wait to share my inspiration for all things sewing, baking and crafting!

Much love and thanks to everyone who believes in me!

Amber