Embroidered Gem Necklace Tutorial

Looking for something fun to wear to your New Years Eve event on a zero budget?  How about this.
What you need-
Embroidery floss in three shades (or how ever many you desire)
Fusible interfacing
Sewing machine (can be done by hand)
Disappearing ink pen (sewing supply)
Gem images for reference

Here are the two images I used for reference on the gems

Cut a bib base from felt.  Wool felt would be great, but I used craft felt as it's what I have on hand.  Use your disappearing ink pen to roughly draw the gems out how you want them.  I drew the outside shapes then did the details freehand.  Do what ever works best for you until the whole bib is filled.
I used half strands (three of six pieces of each length of floss) with back stitch for 99% of it and lazy daisy for the remainder.  Add sequence to a few of the gaps for some sparkle.

With your iron set low, press a piece of interfacing onto the back of the necklace to lock all the threads and stiffen the bib.  Make sure your interfacing completely covers the felt from the iron.  Felt (at lease craft felt) melts on an iron. 

Trim around the edges cutting off the excess interfacing.  Trim around the curves of the gems on the bottom edge.
 Cut two strips of ribbon long enough to tie behind your neck.  Sew to each end of the bib.

Optional- tack the tails of the ribbon with a bit of hot glue to the back of the bib.
Tie it on!

 I think they even have metallic floss that might be fun for this.  I would also love shades of blue, or whit on black felt.  It could look so different depending on the colors you use!

Have a happy New Year! I'll be in bed WAY before midnight LOL. That's life with toddlers.

A good company deals with thomas sabo earring & shared hosting when you will buy two packages either hublot watches or the bundle of watch winder and silver watches.


Garden of Whimsy

If you are getting married this summer, if your attending a wedding, or even if your just plain fun you have to check out Garden of Whimsy.  I found the shop while pouncing on Etsy (one of my favorite ways to waste time) and instantly fell in love with the shop.  April, the gorgeous vixen behind all of the designs, has so many fun creations it's hard to choose a favorite.  I recently ordered this "Twigs and Honey" wreath and am so happy with it.
April makes a much better model than I do so check it out in all it's glory.
April leaves nothing unfinished on these beauties.  The inside of the wreath looks as good as the outside and the band fits extremely comfortably.  Everything is securely in place and the wreath itself is nice and solid.  I'm very impressed with it and it will last me a long time.  Not to mention her prices are a steal! Check out some of my other favorites from her shop.

I'm obviously drawn to the large flower pieces, but she has a lot of simple wreaths (like my twig and honey) available in her shop

It's not longer in shop, but I had to share this amazing necklace she made too!
So inspiring! 

Now off you go, order something fun for yourself!


Bad Haircut!

We've all had them.  As a former hairstylist I'm ashamed to admit that I had not had a haircut in.... two and a half YEARS!  Now it is no coincidence that my twins just turned two, but still, a bit ridiculous.  To add to the issue, I am VERY picky about who I let touch my hair.  I'm a former hairstylist with blond hair that will show every cut the stylist makes if done wrong.  And the only person I currently trust is EXPENSIVE (at least in my book).  I learned the hard way this month that she is also worth EVERY penny (and paying someone else, then paying her to fix it, makes the haircut just all that much more costly).

So it was a couple of days before Christmas and I passed a salon I used to work at and noticed that one of the women I worked with had returned to her job there.  I was ecstatic.  I ran right in and luck had it that she could get me in right away.  Long story short I left deflated, and pretending I was happy.  When I got home I attempted to blend the layers a bit myself (remember, I know what I'm doing and you should not try to fix haircuts yourself! okay, you probably shouldn't do it even if you know what your doing, the angles are all different) luckily I didn't mess anything up further and made the cut tolerable through the holiday functions.

When my mother in law gave me some cash as a gift I knew instantly what mine would be for.... I'm getting my hair FIXED!  Luckily I didn't have the first girl cut much off so I still have a lot to work with.  This time I thought I should take a look through some pics and get an idea what I'm looking for before I go in.  Photos are always helpful to your stylist.  I found a pic of Carrie Underwood that I fell in love with...
 Keep in mind, I wear a lot of pony tails right now with young kids.  So I looked further to see what this cut looked like when down...
I didn't instantly love it, but the more I looked at it the more it made sense for me.  I have a ton of hair and this cut would really thin it out which would be great! A lot of the styles I wear would work really well with all those layers.  So I opened my photo editor, erased her face, cropped out her fab body (because it doesn't come with the haircut) removed the color (to make it blend a bit better) and plugged in my own face.  Keep in mind this was done in seconds just "to see".
I have an appointment on Friday.  What do you think?



I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday.  We had a lot of fun this year.  We went sledding for the first time this year, and since the kids are so young they think it's the first time ever! There were huge snowflakes coming down so it was really beautiful. Here is a shot of my little girl that I just love from that day.
We also had a nice visit with Cooper and Lola!  How could anyone resist this beautiful face!
I know a lot of the blogs have been quiet lately as I see a lot of bloggers taking a holiday break.  If your looking for a good read online, check out Galoshes and my other blog Dear MaryJanes for a true story told through actual letters between mother and daughter.  We have just gotten to a fun part of the story where I'm away from home for the first time at Basic Training of all things!  So cozy up with a hot mug of cocoa and start from the beginning.  Your sure to be entertained. 


More Charlie and Lola Birthday Party

Thought I would wrap up the Charlie and Lola Birthday party pics.  This party was really budget friendly decor wise.  Some poster board, crayons, sharpie and books from the library for reference.  
This banner was one of my favorite (and easiest) decorations.  Some scrapbook paper taped directly to the wall with a couple "Lola butterflies".  They weren't strung on anything, just taped in a draped pattern.

Charlie and Lola were poster board, sharpie and crayon drawn from the cover of one of their books.

I didn't think the party could be complete without pink milk and silly straws.
I rented a ton of books from the library and had them out on the table, along with awesome (free printable) build your own cupcakes from Vol.25

Thanks for stopping in! Enjoy your weekend.

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Oh the joys of being a girl

Winter day +1 girl + 1 play makeup brush + plastic doll house furniture + "dusting" of furniture =


Things to Come

Thought I would share with you guys a sneak peak of what I'm planning come 2011.  I'm ready to leave my original Etsy shop behind and start a new adventure.  I finally feel like I'm ready to take a leap with my own art.  So here is a sneak peak at some of my first pieces that will be available in 2011!  Any feedback you might have would be welcomed!


Oreos on a Stick

I love Oreos.  Like seriously love them to the point where it's really an issue and I just can't eat them at all for fear I may eat the entire package.  My kids love them too, but make a total mess of themselves when given even half an Oreo.  Well I found a solution to both problems.  Cover them in chocolate and put them on a stick.  The stick keeps the kids from getting messy (and let's face it, everything is more fun on a stick) and being chocolate covered and in single serving form make me eat one and stop there (not to mention the extra chocolate makes them extra filling and I would have a TON of guilt if I ate more than one).

I even let my 3 year old help me make them, he got to put on the sprinkles, which made my job easier and him happy! So no, the sprinkles aren't as perfect as this Capricorn would have applied them, but they are fun and the kids were happy, and they still tasted the same!

 I found that one package of Oreos (minus 2 cookies sampled for freshness of course) worked out to be the perfect amount to one package melting chocolate (I used a large brick of white bark that was on special for the holidays).

You can get sucker sticks about anywhere now days, I got mine at Michaels.  They are inexpensive.    One stick per cookie pushed into the frosting.  Dip your cookie into the melted chocolate then lay on a sheet of waxed paper and sprinkle.

Some tips for working with chocolate-
  • Use a double boiler!  This means using a bowl set inside your container with the hot water, put on the heating unit.  This prevents your chocolate from burning.
  • DO NOT allow the water in the boiler to actually BOIL! If your water begins to boil it will burn the chocolate, turn it down immediately, there is a fine line.
  • Even the tiniest drop of water in your bowl of chocolate will ruin the whole thing!  If you see your chocolate gets a grainy texture, you have gotten water into the bowl and it is now garbage.  I know that sounds unbelievable, but it could not be more true.  So move slowly and do not splash!
Allow to fully cool and set before you remove them from the paper.  They freeze great too so you can make up a batch and freeze what you don't need (makes a great "special treat" on a day where you need a little help with the kids!). Enjoy!

You will find thomas sabo jewellery with so much ease. You can buy backup software & fendi watches from our basement where michele watches is also found in bulk quantity, rado watches are awesome in their looks.


QUICK Crochet Gifts!

It's frigid here in Wisconsin today.  The blizzard has left us with between 8 and 12 inches of snow, it's really really cold so the kids can't go outside, and I am busy making holiday gifts in my cozy new slippers!
The pattern worked up really quickly (much quicker than I had expected) and was super simple.  I got the pattern along with the Jenji hat and tree rattles (which I think will come in handy for every baby shower I attend for the next 50 years!) from one of my new favorite shops Mamachee

The patterns are all very clear, easy to understand, and include photos.  So if your snowed in and could use some quick handmade gifts for the people on your shopping list, get over there and pick up some of these patterns!

Charlie and Lola Birthday Party

Well, despite the blizzard (that thankfully held off until later in the day) we had a wonderful Charlie and Lola themed birthday party.  I have a few things to share with you from the party, but right now I thought I would just pop in with some peaks at the day.  I will share the details later, I'm a bit exhausted at the moment!



The Crayola factory seems to have blown up... in my living room.

At least it wasn't the play dough factory!


Chocolate Makes Friends Happy

Galoshes has stopped by today to share a quick little gift idea with you.....

I like to have a basket of festive little gifts to hand out to unexpected company as well as a quick 'grab and take' gift for people that I might run into that day and want to express a holiday wish to. My sister-in-law and brother hosted the Thanksgiving dinner and I took one of these along just as a little thank you. My oldest grandson goes to preschool 2 days per week and so I will send one along with him for his teacher. There are a few neighbors that stop by during the holidays and so I like to have something handy to grab to offer as a nice holiday gesture. Since I mail out allot of packages from my sales of my etsy shop. I hope to create a smile by placing one in the mail box for our postal carrier. 

Who else is on my little holiday treat list?
Our Veterinary
The Librarian At Story Hour
The UPS Driver
The Postal Counter Worker { she is always crabby, so I like to do something nice for her to bring abit of warmth to her life!}
We have several Amish neighbors that will stop by through out the year with fresh produce and eggs, so I will make sure I treat them to this gift. 

And if I have them along and run into someone I haven't seen in awhile, I say, "Hey, I was just thinking about you and have something for you." Ok, so it's a bit of a fib, but it's nice to make someone feel special out of the blue.
Give this a try, I am sure you will find it fun and relaxing to work on, as well as a cost effective way to give alittle holiday cheer.

I purchased several family sized candy bars at Target for $1.50 each while they were on sale. I selected an assortment of different flavors, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and some with almonds added. I used Hershey’s, but you could use finer chocolate bars as well.

I took the wrapper off one of them and used it as a template. I looked through my old magazine stash for just the right pictures. I laid the wrapper on top of the picture and cut it out. Wrap the picture around the candy bar foil and use 2 sided tap to adhere it to itself. Then just trim it up with some pretty trimming or a tag and it's good to go. Just keep them in a cool place until you hand them out. Quick, inexpensive and handy to have on hand as a gift. Merry Christmas to all of you Mary Janes and Galoshes readers. 

Eat Chocolate & Be Happy. - Galoshes


Lainey Days

I am busy preparing for the Charlie and Lola birthday party on Saturday.  I rented a whole stack of C&L books from the library to put out for the kids to enjoy.  I'm thinking this party may be the most fun and budget friendly ever! Can't wait to share all the details with you.

While trying to plan my snack menu (the party is between meal times, helps with the budget friendly part) I asked Nadia what she wanted to eat at their party (Hayden doesn't say much yet).  "NO CAKE!" was her response.  Very strange for an about to be two year old girl to declare there be no cake at her party.  Chalk it up to temporary insanity as ten minutes later she declared that she wanted cake, and not only cake but "CAKE... AND MORE CAKE.... AND ICE CREAM!".  Well.... now that's my kind of party.

I asked Galoshes what she thought of doing a dessert buffet (as the husband doesn't have much to say about these matters).  We agreed that it was VERY Charlie and Lola appropriate.  And so it shall be! I've picked up some fun tea cookies, plan on making some chocolate covered oreos on a stick (with sprinkles of course) which I will share with you all, and lots of little cakes and goodies. 

While shopping for goody bag suffers I happened across GIANT lolly pops.  I should mention, I HATE goody bags.  Well, that's not exactly true.  I love goody bags, I hate that parents seem to think they should be filled with little plastic crap that is a waste of money and gets thrown away.  So I always fill my goody bags with fewer, more quality, items and a mixture of healthy and fun snacks (because the kids are still young). 

Anyway, this post was really supposed to be about Lainey, hence the title.  Just thought you might want an update on how she is adjusting to our crazy lives.  She has proven to have some "Marley and Me" moments.  What dog doesn't!  She forces me to trash plastic what nots and wooden blocks on nearly a daily basis despite all the toys and chew things she has of her own. 

Her favorite thing to do is sneak into Galoshes' house and steal dog toys from the dogs there.  She still does not bark... at all! Which amazes me and is her saving grace in this house when ever she has a Marley moment.  Well in addition to her extremely gentle nature. 

Thanks to everyone who is leaving me their twitter names, I'm following you all now.  I've been trying out Hootsuite.com and it is making my adventures in Twitter a million times easier!



I have a confession, I'm terrible at twitter and facebook BUT....... I've decided that getting better at them will be my resolution.  And since I'm not one to wait until new years to start a resolution (remember I'm a Capricorn?) I need your help in getting myself organized.

I'm trying to create a list that only includes blogs I follow and people who follow me :)  Now going from profile to profile (or blog to blog) is proving to be an impossible feat.  SO.....

Could ever so pretty please leave your twitter name in a comment so that I can find you that way instead?  Thank you so very much (can you tell I'm in Charlie and Lola mode, the party is this weekend!).

Love to you!

Quick Holiday Projects

I've been busy making a few little things to Merry up our attire around here.  Thought I would pop in and show you a couple things I made late one night as they were super quick.

First, I rented the Fa La La La Felt book from the library and fell in love.  The projects are so simple and cute.  You must check it out (or better yet get it for the craft lover on your list!).  Here is my favorite project from the book.  The book intends for it to be an ornament, but I put a pin on the back for a broach and have been wearing it every chance I get!
The girl has been running out of hair clips (they tend to disappear) so I thought she could use some more festive ones.  I started with a couple fun ribbons from Michael's and some snap and alligator clips I got off etsy.
Plus a few petals left over from the petal tutorial and rhinestone junk jewelry and came up with these.


Holiday Movie Goodness

Happy Friday.  We are expecting a large snow storm tonight, first one of the year here, which always makes me want to hunker down and watch a holiday movie marathon.  I thought I would share with you the movies I watch every year, and maybe you have some to add to my ritual.  I know there are a ton of classics that are not on my list.  I enjoy A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street every couple of years, but every year I MUST watch these movies.....

In no particular order

  1. Elf (with Will Ferrel)
  2. A Christmas Story ♪You'll shoot your eye out!♪
  3. The Grinch (with Jim Carrey, yes the original is good too, but I love the new one!)
  4. The Family Stone (I've already watched it twice this season)
  5. Rudolph (because my husband insists!)
  6. Home Alone (which is only on HBO so far this year, come on!)\
Okay, so those are my MUST watch before Christmas.  Again, somewhat nontraditional I realize, but that's me!  What movie(s) do you have to watch every year?


Dog Lover?

There are many people who choose to have children of the four legged variety.  My cousin, Jenn, is one of those people.  Her two pooches are her world and really who wouldn't be crazy about these two!
I had to post this for two reasons.
  1.  To show off the banner! Made (and hand drawn) by me.  I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out.
  2. To tell you about Jenn's brand new blog Cooper & Lola it's filled with a ton of great information and a lot of cute pics!  Maybe Lainey will even guest post sometime :)
So when you get a chance, pop over and tell her I sent you.  She would love to have you!


Crochet Cowl

I hope you guys aren't sick of scarves yet.  My sister in law had the cutest cowl on at Thanksgiving and although she bought it, I knew that I could find a pattern to make it myself.  So off I went to etsy where I found The Plumb Giraffe and her Elizabeth Bennet Cowl.  It looks so much like my SIL's scarf I had to try it out.
I had this super soft steel blue yarn I had gotten to make a baby blanket when I was pregnant with my first, yeah, like that happened.  But the yarn was perfect for this cowl!  I could not believe how quick it went, and it was so much fun! I learned a couple new stitches (I'm a pretty basic crocheter, so if mine turned out yours will too!) and was done in just a couple hours.  Really an experienced crocheter could probably knock this out in an hour.

I will definitely be making more of these in several colors! It's light enough that you can wear it in spring so I'm thinking a bright yellow.  Head over to The Purple Giraffe where you can get the pattern for $1.99! Seriously, a steal.  Grab some t-shirt yarn while your there, how cool is that!