Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Hoppy" Easter...and Other "Stuff"

I was very excited about a long weekend this Easter.  After not working full time for 11 years I am REALLY enjoying being back in the classroom (way more than I thought I would) and I am COMPLETELY enjoying those little kindergartners!  But...the crazy schedule and trying to do my VERY best at school as well as at home was taking their toll on this 40 year old Momma...I needed a break!  Especially since the last 2 weekends were JAMMED with kid activities, chores and have-to-dos...didn't leave Momma any "down time".  I am starting to recognize that I am a girl who desperately NEEDS down time!  So...I was quite please this was a 3 day weekend!

It started off with a bang...both kids were having a friend spend the night.  Not a huge deal but truth be told I am NOT A FAN OF THE SLEEPOVER!  I like just my family, tucked into their beds at night.  End of story.  But...the friends in question are GREAT kids and we had a plan.  Since boy child is getting older and half the fun of a weekend is "staying up late" we decided to let him and his bud take over the basement.  They slept on the couches...had snacks in the fridge and there's a bathroom down there....add the king sized television and a Wii system and they were need for me to stay awake and they could get us if they needed anything.  I had already informed the girl child that she is 8...not 11 and she still has a bedtime with sleepovers...when we go to bed at do she and her buddy!  End of story.  She was fine with fine that at 10 she was asleep already...I should have known that was too good to be true!!!  With everyone hunkered down for the night...bellies full of pizza and ice cream hubby and I settled in for a good nights' sleep...WRONG!  I was awakened by the girl child at about 1:30am complaining of a tummy ache....then she threw up a little...I took her temp...and she had a is where I insert apology to other parent!  She showed NO SIGNS of being sick on Thursday but low and behold...when I took her to the doctor on Friday...she has strep throat!  

So...Thursday night's rest was rough...Friday I went back and forth about whether or not to take her to the doctor on Friday or wait until Saturday.  This time my Momma's instinct was 100% correct!  Good thing I didn't wait because by Saturday she'd have been miserable!!!  We started the meds on Friday and she had 2 full doses before bedtime...she woke up on Saturday with a little sore throat but no fever and feeling better...whew!  

Friday was to be "errand day" so I could take it easy on Saturday and maybe have some "me time" but...after a trip to the doctor, McDonald's, CVS and completing a writing assignment that was due the same day...Friday was a BUST!

The good news?  Saturday was better!  The girl spent most of the day working on a cardboard dollhouse with egg carton furniture she found in this month's Family Fun Magazine...with some help from her Dad!

It turned out REALLY cute!  (Forgot to take an "after" photo...I was just enjoying the process!) the afternoon...after I finished baking for Easter Brunch (aka...ordering yummies from Panera because I had no intention of spending what was left of my "break" in the kitchen) we decorated Easter Eggs.  Hubby informed me that maybe this would be one of the last years boy child would want to decorate eggs...WRONG!  I informed him that decorating eggs was a REQUIREMENT for this family and even when he is home from college on break, there will be egg decorating before there is partying and girlfriends!  Momma has spoken!  Boy child laughed...maybe he thinks I'm kidding?! we are...Easter morning.  I've been awake since before 4am (why???) and the boy child has already broken into his basket and hunted down the hidden eggs to have the annoying big brother advantage.  Girl child is all snuggley in her bed getting her beauty rest, hubby is also getting his beauty rest and I am on the bed in my scrapbook/craft room (thank you Patrick!) writing my blog and snuggling my dog.  I plan on picking up the bakery goods around 8am  and then spending some time communing with God outside while exercising and taking in all the beauty spring has to offer.  I may top it off with some Joel...who knows!  Either way I will spend brunch time with my sisters and their families enjoying some yummy treats and then come home and maybe...just maybe... get some of that "down time" I've been craving for weeks!  I wish anyone kind enough to visit Polka Dots and Stripes a very blessed and happy sure to count you blessings!  (I know I have too many to count but I certainly try!)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Handmade Flower Headbands


Where do I start? all started last summer.  My sister and I visited the French Hens' Farmers Market in Morris.  Adorable town with adorable shops with a Farmers Market?  We were there!  As we wandered the quaint sidewalk booths we came upon an adorable booth with big paper pom poms and bright colored head wear in familiar patterns.  This was a booth of headbands and barrettes for little girls made from ribbons and Amy Butler fabric (being scrapbookers we'd recognize Amy Butler anywhere!)  Of course we HAD to go in her tent and check out her handmade items.  Here is where it all went wrong.  My sister...the perfectionist...started asking the owner HOW she made these headbands.  The woman was very nice but was honest enough to tell us she glued the ends because she didn't know how to sew.  My sister was asking a LOT of questions but it's not unlike Kiki to be a bit...inquisitive...shall we I didn't pay too close attention.  I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!  Once we were a safe distance away...and $20 sister pulled out a headband she'd purchased for my daughter and informed me that although the idea was good...WE COULD MAKE THEM BETTER!!! this point it's only fair to share with you that when my sister gets something in her head everyone better watch out.  It means she's on a means she has a one track means no one at her house would get dinner for a few nights because she was in project mode.  And this trip to the Farmers Market was no exception.  Although we saw some other really cute booths my sister couldn't stop talking about the headbands and how we could make them better...cuter...much MUCH better!!!  

She did.  She made them better.  She found a way to make them even more darling and even better quality...and WAY CUTER!!!  And she was making them faster than she could embellish them.  So she called in the troops (me).  I instantly became her chief headband decorator.  I glued...I embellished and we created some pretty GREAT head ware.  But I was JEALOUS!  I want cute head-ware.  Why do the little girls get all the fun?  They didn't have princess dresses and play shoes and tiaras when I was little.  I want a "re-do"!  I want sparkles and pretties and fancies.  WAIT...what about head-ware for Mommas?  Something I would wear.  Something cute and sassy but sophisticated.  Not something that looked like I snagged it out of my daughter's dress up bin.  So we started creating some GREAT Momma's head-ware that I will soon be selling on Etsy.  (If you're interested leave a comment with your email and I will be sure to contact you when my Etsy shop is up and running.) forward to this past October when I turned 40 and got an AMAZING sewing machine from my parents.  Who would want a sewing machine for the big 4-0 you wonder???  ME!!!  I've always wanted to learn how to sew!!  My sister's though of EVERYTHING to go with it (including a CUTE sewing box!)  My new machine is amazing....


and it came with a lesson!  So, I called and went to the FIRST possible lesson time.  All I have to say is HEAVEN!  New hobby!  Anyway, on to the headbands.  Months later my talented sister has abandoned our headband making...but not me!  I have fine tuned our process even more and I am going to show you how to turn a dollar store headband into a cutie, boutique-worthy headband!

Step 1:  Supplies.  You will need:
1.  inexpensive headbands (I get mine from several local dollar stores)

2.  ribbon
3.  matching thread
4.  adorable flowers (the fancier the better!)

5.  embossing gun (if you have it...helps make the headband look more "finished")
6.  E6000 glue (best choice) or hot glue gun works too...

Step 2:  Cut your ribbon into strips that will easily cover the headband with about 3/4-1" extra at each end. This is important because these headbands are COMFORTABLE!  They don't tend to give the headband-wearer (is that a word?) a headache while wearing it...BIG PLUS!



Step 3:  Sew the 2 sides of the ribbon together making a tube.  When you finish trim loose threads.

Step 4:  Insert headband and leave extra ribbon at each end.


Step 5:  Trim the end of each ribbon so they are smooth with no stray threads or frays.

Step 6:  Emboss the edges of the ribbon just slightly so that they are melted and the thread and ribbon won't fray.  Good step to make your headband look more Boutique-worthy!

Step 7:  Fold one edge at a time and machine sew.  I run it through and then back-stitch once to ensure it will stay finished.


Step 8:  Glue your flower in the desired spot.  I like the flower off to the side...looks so CUTE!  I apply glue to the center of the flower at first. Once it's in place I use clothes pins to hold the flower in place as it dries.  I usually let it sit overnight to ensure it's dried.


There you have it...a CUTE...handmade flower headband.




 If you're not up to making these or you don't sew you can order them from my Etsy shop as soon as it's opened (busy covering a maternity leave in kindergarten and shuffling the kids to their activities so free time is limited these days...maybe first thing in June?)  If you're interested in purchasing my headbands please email me with  your email address and information and I will contact you AS SOON as the Etsy shop is up and running!  Either way, thanks for stopping by!!!!

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