Let’s Talk Costumes

October 1st is tomorrow and so, it’s that time of year again to start talking costumes!

I think I’m still lucky that Brynlee is pretty indifferent when it comes to the subject. I’ve heard from friends how indecisive kids can be when it comes to the topic, changing their minds right up until Halloween Day.

Although I do still try to pick Brynlee’s costume based on things she’s really interested and that I think she would probably pick herself. I also really love the challenge of making her costume each year. For her first Halloween she was a Bumble Bee based on the fact that I’ve called her my Brynlee Bee since the day she was born. And last year she was Minnie Mouse and if you’ve been around here long, you know her love of all things Mickey, so it just made sense.

This year, I chose her costume based on her latest obsession- kitties. I’m not much of a cat person, but I fear that that might be changing in the next few years. Brynlee loves cats!!!

I also decided that this year I was going to try to make her costume in a way that it wouldn’t be a one time wear. I hated how much effort I put in her Minnie costume to have only been worn once. This year, I chose a sewing pattern and fabric that I think will work and am planning to add removable embellishments to make it more cat-like. Hopefully, combined with the cat ears and painted on nose and whiskers, we’ll be able to pull it off.

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And so, here are the supplies (all from JoAnn) I have, I really hope it will turn out as cute as it is in my head. If not, we might be throwing on her ballet leotard, black tights and a tail last minute… Wish me luck!

So, what are your kids going to be? Do you like to make your Halloween costume or prefer store bought?

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Life Lately

Hello there!! Remember me? I know, its been a while and man, have I missed blogging!! But unfortunately when life starts to get a little too busy, this little hobby of mine is the first to get put on the back burner, there just aren’t enough hours in some days, are there?

Anyway, I’m back and will hopefully be getting back into a regular blogging schedule because I truly do love doing this and definitely feel something missing when I don’t get a chance to blog.

So, whats been keeping me so busy??? All good things!!

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First up, I took a custom job making some outdoor cushions. I made 4 sets of these bad boys and love how they turned out! If we ever pull the trigger on a patio set you can bet I will be making a nice plush set of cushions (those seat cushions are 6″ thick and those pillows are 25″x25″) like these instead of buying those thin ones that only last for a season.

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However, they were time consuming and I did have some what of a learning curve as I’ve never sewn cushions like these before or with outdoor fabric for that matter. PSA- do not, I repeat, DO NOT try ironing your outdoor fabric, if you do not only will you ruin your fabric you will have a very real chance of ruining your iron. Luckily I didn’t ruin mine. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I went to iron that first seam open, I knew better, but I guess old habits die hard… Anyway, if you ever sew with outdoor fabric finger pressing is your best friend, you’re welcome!

And so, in addition to sewing these being extremely time consuming, my darling two year old decided it would be a good idea for her to stop taking naps…

My toddler needs her naps! I need her naps! But really, when Brynlee does not get enough sleep everybody feels it and I feel so bad for her because I know that if she would just sleep she would feel so much better! If only I could get that point across to her.

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Which led me to purchase, at the recommendation of my BFF, this book. Have you heard the term “spirited” in reference to kids before? I’ve used it to describe Brynlee, but I honestly had no idea it was a real thing. Well, it is and Mary Sheedy Kurcinka came up with it and has done a ton of research and worked with multiple families of spirited children and I have to tell you, just reading the first paragraph had me sold! It described Brynlee to a tee and while I am only about a quarter of the way through it, it has cleared up so many things and reaffirmed some of the things that Landon and I have already implemented to be correct. I’ve always said that Brynlee has A LOT of feelings and whether she is happy or sad or anything else, you and anyone around you are going to know about it and that is exactly what this book confirms, “spirited” kids are just “more”.

Anyway, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, parents of “spirited” kids or not, as well as, family members. It is a huge eye opener into the way children function and how one behavior that might be perceived as a negative is actually a positive so long as we, the parents, family members and friends, can be there to teach them to understand themselves and how those characteristics make each one of them so special.

Also, fortunately for my sanity, Brynlee is back to her normal nap taking schedule, crisis averted!

Twice a year, Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market is held in Scottsdale and it full of vintage and handmade goodness!! If that is at all your jam, I would highly suggest hitting the next one up, it’s scheduled in May, check it out!

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We went the other weekend and had so much fun!!! These are all the treasure I came home with, but if there was no limitation of funds, you can be sure I would have came home with a lot more! I even have a few things on my list for next time.

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First up, this amazing hanging scale! I have been looking for one of these for a very long time, they are NOT easy to find, especially here in AZ. Anyway, I realize this is a reproduction, but I still really love it’s chippy goodness and the fact that they made it into a working clock is bonus points in my book. My plan is to hang it in my kitchen (obviously) and use it as our fruit “basket”.

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Next up, this cute little heart made out of one of the rings from a wine barrel. I just love that they added glitter to the inside and can’t wait to get my gallery wall finished and add this to it.

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And of course I had to get this sign for Brynlee, fits her perfectly!

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This dough bowl, oh how I love dough bowls, but unfortunately all the ones I’ve seen have been on the pricier side, so you know when I found this one for around $30, I just had to snatch it up! I can’t wait to fill it with pumpkins and gourds and use it as a fall centerpiece. Maybe I’ll even throw in a few fake spiders and such to make it a little more Halloween-y during October.

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Speaking of Fall decorations, how cute are these pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns I made the other weekend. I found this tutorial from the girls at Lolly Jane and initially planned to make them for a girls craft night, unfortunately that fell through, but hopefully we will still manage to get together to make those cute signs they shared too!

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And last, but certainly not least (at least for me) this beauty arrived in the mail last Friday and I can hardly contain my excitement over it!

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While I realize that you probably don’t care about my new phone I still had to share because my old phone could barely even be called a phone anymore. I pretty much has problems with it from day one and even had to get my first one replaced because it was a lemon. But it also always dropped calls, no matter where I was, 50% of the time people on the other end couldn’t hear me because of static, it had the slowest camera known to man and on the off chance I could actually get a picture to load via text was a pure miracle. Oh, and it would crash ALL. THE. TIME. And so and I absolutely thrilled to have gotten my hands on this beauty.

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I mean,seriously, all the heart eyes for the rose gold! Is it acceptable for me to claim it as my favorite color?? This is the case I got for it and it matches the rose gold perfectly! Not to mention I love the extra large screen for blog reading and Instagram scrolling. Oh and the camera on it is AHHHH-mazing!!!

And so, here’s to better picture quality and better blogging!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends!

Learning to Weave

In the past year or so, I’ve seen woven wall hangings everywhere! And while I’ve admired them, the price tags are usually far beyond my budget. And so, while I’ve wanted to give weaving a try myself, I’ve procrastinated starting one because I really just didn’t know where to start.

I’d looked for lap looms at places like JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby and finally found some available on Amazon, but I really didn’t want to spend $40+ on a loom when I wasn’t even sure I was going to enjoy weaving.

And then, one night last week I just could not get weaving out of my head. I had to make one and I had to make one right that minute! I decided to try calling my local yarn shop to see if they had any lap looms, and they did, for only $108…

Um, yeah, no thanks!

And so, I set forth to build my own little lap loom after finding this handy tutorial from A Beautiful Mess. Now the reason I’m posting this, isn’t to give you some beautiful tutorial on how to build your own loom or even how to weave, as I’m still learning and far from an expert from the subject, there are a lot of tutorials out there if you want to know more about weaving. I’m posting this because I want you to know that you really don’t need anything special to get started. It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at all the loom packages with all the different tools that you have know idea what they are used for (or at least it was easy for me to get overwhelmed by that). And so, if you are in the same boat as me, and just want to try it out without investing too much financially, then this post is for you on how I finally just went for it using things I already had around the house and that no fancy looms or tools are necessary.

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First, I headed to the garage and found a piece of scrap wood and some nails. This piece of wood measures around 5″x7″, you can kind of see it in this picture, the right side is a very crooked cut, but it still worked. An old wood frame would be perfect too! Since my loom is so small, it really wasn’t a big deal, but if I were to have made a larger loom, passing the needle between the warp strands in the middle would have gotten difficult if you are not able to access the back of your piece.

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Here are the details on the nails I used.

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Measure a straight line on the top and bottom of your board, it is really important that you line is straight so your weaving isn’t crooked, so if your wood piece isn’t square, be extra careful with your measurements. Also, the tutorial suggests making your marks 1/2″ apart, please listen to that and don’t do what I did. I thought that since my loom was so small that I would need to add more warp lines, that was absolutely not the case. As soon as I started nailing in my nails, I realized 1/4″ was just too close and instead pulled them out so they were 1/2″ apart.

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Here is my very crude, finished loom and while it definitely is not very pretty, it worked perfectly and I am very happy that I was able to do it all for free.

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If you follow along on Instagram, you saw this picture last week when I was partially done with my first weaving. I just used yarn I already had on hand and 2″ yarn needle.

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To finish it off, I found a stick in my backyard, cleaned it and trimmed it down to size.

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I also trimmed the bottom fringe into a “V” to accentuate the angles in my diamonds.B7

And voila!

My first weaving is done! It’s certainly not perfect, you can see my sides are a little wobbly from times I pulled my yarn to tight, but its still earning a place on my gallery wall! I can’t wait to try another one, I’d like to get some chunkier yarn to add a bit more texture and now that I know I really enjoy weaving, I’d also like to make a larger loom, I’ll probably hit up Home Depot’s scrap wood bin to see if I can find anything that will work without having to spend too much.

If weaving is something you’ve been wanting to try, I hope this post has inspired you to give it a go! After just one attempt, I’m hooked, and I’m sure you will be too!

Happy crafting!

Great Children’s Book- Charley and the Yellowstone Sprites

We love Montana!

It is so beautiful and there are so many great things to do there, Landon especially loves the fly fishing. And since we have family that lives in West Yellowstone, we consider ourselves extremely lucky and try to go whenever we can.

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We took Brynlee there last summer and here we are at her first trip to Yellowstone and to see Old Faithful, which is amazing by the way.

I am perfectly aware that Brynlee will never remember her first trip to Yellowstone, but I do have about a thousand pictures and I bought this book while we were there in hopes that she would still feel connected to it and excited when we go back.

And so, you can imagine my excitement to win Going Home to Roost’s giveaway a couple of weeks ago for Amy Hevron’s book Charley and the Yellowstone Sprites. Read about the Kickstarter campaign that brought this book to life here.

And this book did not disappoint, it is absolutely beautiful, Amy’s illustrations are perfectly whimsical and Brynlee was so excited to see it when I pulled it from the packaging.

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Which was adorable by the way.

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I also received some art prints, post cards and stickers all of which are available in Amy’s shop and I cannot wait to use them. Of course Brynlee loved the stickers and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to send those gorgeous post cards, instead I’m thinking they need to be framed too.

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Everything about this book is so well done and I’m so excited and grateful to add it to Brynlee’s library.

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And just look how cute Charley is with his little sprite friends!

I know Brynlee and I will have a lot of fun reading about Charley and the Yellowstone Sprites adventures through Yellowstone and reliving our time there.

And when we go back (hopefully soon) she will be able to connect the places we visit with the book and that will make it even more magical.

And maybe, just maybe, we might even see Charley…

Favorite Things Friday- Wool Dryer Balls

You guys!!!

This is a total game changer!

I have been seeing wool dryer balls everywhere lately and finally decided that I needed to try them out, and OH MY GOODNESS, am I glad I did!

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I ordered this 6-pack from Amazon and they have seriously changed (and improved) my laundry routine. If you can believe it, I was super excited to start laundry when these showed up on my door and I’d actually been saving a large load of towels just for the occasion.

And you know what happened???

They were dry in HALF the time.

I wasn’t prepared, I didn’t even have another load in the washer to change out, I really couldn’t believe that they could make such a difference, but they did and have continued to do so each and every time!

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I haven’t used dryer sheets (click here for why you shouldn’t either) for years, but if you add a few drops of Young Living’s lavender to the wool balls before you throw them in the dryer your laundry will come out smelling absolutely divine!!!

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If you have a particularly dirty load of laundry to do, perhaps sweaty gym clothes or maybe even after a weekend spent camping, try adding a few drops of Young Living’s purification to really cleanse your laundry and have them come out smelling great!

They really reduce static cling too!

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So, head on over to Amazon (or wherever else you might find them) and order yourself a set of these amazing little balls to drastically improve your laundry game! I mean seriously, if you have a big family or always seem to be doing laundry, these can really help! I’m still amazed how quickly I get through my laundry and I’ve had them for a few weeks now.

And if you are still using fabric sheets or fabric softener, switching will not only save you money, they are good for 1500 washes, but they will also eliminate all those toxic chemicals from your laundry.

And if you don’t have Young Living essential oils yet, but are interested in getting some or just have a few questions either leave a comment below or email me at blissfullymade@yahoo.com I’d love to chat with you about them!

State String Art Revamp

A couple of years ago I shared a tutorial on how I made my original State String Art, but after redecorating early this summer and completely eliminating my house of all things red, it really needed updating.

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And it just so happens that as I was strolling through JoAnn’s the other day inspiration hit me! In the form of this gold glitterspun yarn.

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I instantly fell in love with the shimmery gold and the fact that JoAnn’s had it on clearance for $0.50 each, well I just couldn’t pass it up!

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It ended up taking about 3 1/2 packages and I just love it’s new look! The picture really doesn’t do it justice on just how sparkly it is. I love how it turned out and since gold is a relatively neutral color, should I decide to redecorate again, I probably wont have to change this piece up again.

Oh and did I mention this gorgeous yarn comes in a multitude of colors, just in case gold isn’t your thing. So get yourself over to JoAnn’s and make one this weekend!