The Butterfly Fairy

Like most kids, Lucia loves Halloween and all aspects of playing dress up, and I love watching the  four-year-old creative process that comes along with it unfold.  Since her world is currently filled with fairies,  it seemed only natural that she chose to be one for Halloween.  With inspirations drawn from the flower and leaf crowns that I created last year, I envisioned sewing tons of faux flowers, autumn leaves, or green vines together to bring my fairy’s Halloween costume to life. Lucia had a different vision in mind, and so, a butterfly fairy was born.

Since Lucia’s closet (and my sanity) can’t handle another tulle explosion, it made sense to reuse this tutu dress that I made for Lucia last spring.  She adores this thing.

I decided to make Lucia an apron to wear over the tutu dress and wanted a vibrant color to downplay the black underlayer.  I went with a bright purple tulle and a contrasting aqua waistband.  I cut four layers of tulle and used a gathering foot on my sewing machine to gather each layer one by one.  Using a gathering foot is THE BOMB!  Gone are the days of cursing broken threads as I attempt to hand gather unsuccessfully.   I can’t believe I waited  so long to test this thing out.

Gathering foot – oh how I love you!  I can’t wait to get my hands on a ruffle foot.

I then sandwiched the four layers of tulle in between two thick pieces of grosgrain aqua ribbon and stitched two seams.  A simple tulle apron was finished.

I broke out my glue gun and went butterfly crazy.  I attached faux butterfly’s to the apron’s top layer and made a matching pin, headpiece and wand.

I would actually love to see this apron worn over a simple leotard and ballet tights, but poofification seems to reign in this house.  So poofified she went:

I think she’s thrilled with her mama-haute-couture.

And I think she’s ready to spread her wings…

And some sweetness….

And perhaps some spookiness too…

BWA! HA! HA!

Thank you Red Tricycle New York, the Cleverist, and Create Craft Love for featuring my costume!

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Mod Podge and Gold Leaf Easter Eggs – DIY

My mom always blew out a ton of eggs every Easter.  I remember watching her do this many times (It kind of grossed me out), but I always enjoyed the decorating extravaganza.  One year, we made an entire zoo of Easter Egg animals.  Complete with little tails and feet.  I remember loving our little egg creatures and carefully packing them away year after year – to bring to life the following Holiday.

This year I thought it would be fun to Mod Podge a few eggs with Lucia.  She loves this stuff, and we started this bizarre habit of talking about Mod Podge in thick Brooklynese accents.  The glop, the mess, and the four-year-old’s exaggerated New York dialect. It is all incredibly fun.

Getting our Mod Podge on.
Meanwhile, this guy was doing some crafting of his own.

The idea of a creating a few decorative eggs somehow turned into many.  Luckily the process is simple:

I first glued shut plastic eggs, and had my handy husband spray paint them white (so the bright colors wouldn’t show through when using thin materials).  I focused on a gold/blueish theme for a mantel display.  I googled “damask print” and came across a few interesting wall paper patterns to print out.  I also used wrapping paper, napkins, and scrap booking paper (which is thick and annoying to work with).  I cut my materials into various pieces, painted a layer of Mod Podge on the eggs and smoothed over the patterned paper.  Washing your hands periodically (or keeping a wet wash cloth on hand) is key.  Or else the sticky mess on your fingers will rip some of the paper off the eggs.  I tried to smooth out the odds and ends as best as possible.  I then added glitter to some eggs and another layer of Mod Podge before drying.  I used a hot glue gun to add ribbon and an embellishment to some of the eggs to hang from our Mantel.

I also enlisted Bob to help me gold leaf a few large eggs, since he has mad gold leafing skills (as evidenced by a chair that he gold leafed that you can sort of see here).  The process is also pretty easy. First we painted adhesive on the eggs and let them dry for about 45 minutes.  We then rubbed on gold leaf flakes and smoothed them over with a brush.  After applying sealant they were good to go.

 Upon completion I decided that I needed to make a black and white damask themed collection for this shelf:
And a centerpiece for my Easter table:
I’m still trying to pick the Mod Podge remnants off of my nail polish.  Happy Easter!!
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Welcoming Spring

Lucia’s teachers invited me into the classroom to craft with the children to help celebrate the first day of spring.  The preschoolers seemed to really enjoy making colorful pasta necklaces and they proudly wore their handmade creations.

Adrian had fun sitting at the table with the “big kids”  and destructing many of the neatly arranged classroom stations.  And I loved having the chance to enter into what feels like a secret world.

Preparing our colorfully dyed pasta at home.
Taping one end of the string to the table helped the kids string on their pieces.
Happy Spring Folks!
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Crafternoon

We are going to a birthday party tomorrow and Lucia wanted to make a homemade gift for her friend on her sewing machine (anyone remember sew easy from the 80’s?).  I don’t think that her ball gown design was working out quite as well as she planned so I checked out pinterest for some inspiration.

This pasta dying project was fun and easy and reminded me of one of my most prized pieces of jewelry, a pasta necklace that Lucia made with my mother in law.  She gave it to me in the hospital when I gave birth to Adrian.  I’m going to save it forever.

The simple instructions include placing pasta in zip lock bags before squirting in hand sanitizer and then food coloring.  After shaking the bags around for a few seconds the pasta was ready to dry!
Lucia made a pasta necklace and special card for her friend Norah.  The kiddos also had so much fun playing with the colorful pasta (sometimes sorting and sometimes throwing at each other). 
We also peeled and chopped up broken crayons to create newly recycled insect crayons.We then baked them in the oven at 230° in a silicon mold for about 15 minutes.  Sticking them in the freezer after baking helped with the preschooler instant gratification factor. They were ready to pop out within 10 minutes.
The finished project was pretty cool.  I really love including something handmade in gifts (especially when they are child made).  I included the instructions with these trinkets so the birthday girl can make more with her own mama. 
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The Flower Fairy

In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” ~Albert Camus

This fairy bloomed on a cold winter day, reminding me of all that is warm and bright.  She wanted another mama constructed crown and I thought a proper wand for fairy magic spreading was needed.  She helped by picking petals off stems and then fluttered off engrossed with her new flower powers.  I’m so glad she let me capture this moment on film.  And am so glad for all the dimensions of her you can’t see on this blogThe elaborate stories, the freedom of movement in her dances, the singing and wand waving while looking in the mirror, the organic love in her eyes, the pure creativeness wrapped up in this incredibly joyful tiny four-year old. 

True fairy magic indeed.

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Homemade Christmas

I just finished sewing Christmas stockings for the family and I’m feeling quite punctual since it is December first!  I used the prudent baby tutorial and added some embellishments.  I made fabric covered buttons for the boys stockings and finally tested out the embroidery functions on my sewing machine to monogram.  I decorated my stocking and the little big-girl’s with yo-yos, a fabric covered button and a little bling for our initials. Although I managed to break five needles during this project, I’m pretty happy with the end result.  It was my first time sewing with batting and I think I may even be inspired to give quilt-making a try. I’m looking forward to seeing these (or at least the kids stockings!) stuffed to the brim on Christmas day.

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