Learning to Sew: celebrating with sewing

The other night I had the joy of celebrating one little girl’s birthday with a little sewing.

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Eleven sweet girls gathered around tables with hoops, needles and a mix of felt flowers and buttons and created these cute little flower hoops. sewing party 2015

It’s always so much fun to watch someone pick up a needle and thread for the first time and then see their joy when they master the rhythm of up and down.

sewing party 2015

I love the creativity and how different everyone’s hoops turned out. Some of the girls went crazy with the flowers, some were slow and meticulous and some went for simplicity. It was great!

Interested in throwing a party like this? I offer these sets individually in the shop and I’m contemplating offering party sets in 2016. But you can put your own set together too. Here’s my suggestions:

Putting together a flower hoop party set:
brown kraft paper (to wrap the tables with)
six inch wooden embroidery hoops
size 22 chenille needles
size 5 cotton pearl embroidery floss (you can find these with all the typical embroidery floss – usually hanging on the wall)
felt flower cut outs in a mix of colors
felt initials (about 3″ in size)
Ribbon for hanging
a mix of flower buttons and regular round buttons
and white felt circles (about an inch larger than your hoops)

Before the party, set all your white felt circles in the hoops and thread all your needles.
I highly recommend having a needle threader (this one is the bomb) handy for those times with needles to come unthreaded)
Lay out your flowers and initials on the table.
Sew on your initials first using a running stitch and then sew on the flowers and buttons. Remind your little party goers to always start from the bottom and bring your needle up and down.
Tie a ribbon through the screw hole and enjoy.

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throwback thursday {a star wars birthday party}

On Thursdays I pull from my years of archives, taking a look back and where I’ve come from. The Lord is good and I am beyond blessed for the journey that He has taken me on. Today’s throwback is in honor of my son who is about to turn 11 (yikes!). This was one of the best birthday parties we ever threw back in 2010. And probably the most amazing cupcakes ever.

Today I experienced one of the the most relaxing and easy birthday parties I have ever experienced. I have to back up to tell you the whole amazing deal. We have a bunch of crap going on in our life right now (I don’t say crap because it’s all bad, it just a lot at times) so when I realized that it was time to start planning for the Rooster’s birthday I got a little nervous. (I will back up again and tell you that we have started a family tradition of doing birthday “parties” only on odd years; basically this means that the Rooster gets a “party” this year and the chick gets a small family gathering. Then next year it will be her turn for a “party”) Realizing that we weren’t going to have it at our house, I started looking around town for other options and the other options were all very pricey. Then came the deal of all deals. Our local science museum (which is a bit of a dive I must say…but cool to a 7 year old!) has this awesome deal where you pay $50 to become a member of the Association of Science Museuems (aka: reciprocal admission to cooler science museums all over the US) AND you get a free birthday party (including a planetarium show). Needless to say, we jumped at it and it was a rousing success!

The theme was Star Wars and while I did do a bunch of custom made “crafting” sort of things; I spread them out over the last month or so and honestly never felt overwhelmed once.

Party Favors
First I did the party favors. I hate party favors. Little bags full of crap that I end up tossing behind my kids backs because I don’t want to find it in the far reaches of their closets 15 years from now. So I decided to do t-shirts. I freezer-paper stenciled a Tie Fighter on black shirts for the boys and glittering star on the girls. I scored big at the Target dollar spot with this great little silver cans that were 50% off and then threw in a glow stick (also 50% off from Target) and some tattoos.

SW thank you notes
The last addition was a thank you note in advance from the Rooster. Instead of standing and trying to keep track of who gave him what and writing it down and sending thank you notes, we decided to do them up early and put them in their treat bags.
SW cupcakes + stand
Next, I decided to do cupcakes. I manufactured this great little cupcake stand from foam core, scrapbook paper, a styrofoam cube and a few stolen Duplo blocks from the kids bin.

SW cupcakes closeup

I made these awesome little cupcake toppers from a Star Wars lego clipart that I found via google. The cupcakes were Cookies and Cream from Annie Eats and they. were. divine. I honestly loved doing cupcakes. No cutting or clean up. No need for silverware. Pass them out and enjoy. Simple.

It was by far the most fun I’ve ever had doing and giving a birthday party.

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weekend blur

This past weekend was an absolute blur. On Friday I started to complain about all the responsibilities I had for the weekend…even to the point of whining on facebook (I know, I became one of those people). But not long after I did my whining status it hit me like a brick: I can either face this weekend’s obligations with dread and worry and leaded feet OR I can take each event as it comes and look for all the graces. And wow! What a difference it made in the end.

One of the biggest things I had this weekend was a craft market. There were many things about this market that were causing me to worry, the biggest one being that it was indoors. I’ve never set up for an indoor market and I really was just overwhelmed with how to make it all work in this smaller space versus a 10×10 tent.

Craft market dec 2013

But every moment of this market was full of so many graces. After hours and hours of rain and more to come, the moment we had to unload it stopped. My booth space gave me plenty of extra room for me to breathe and spread out with good “neighbors”. And it doesn’t fail that every market I’ve done I have absolutely hated the first hour…there are aspects of what I’ve done this year with daisyeyes that have been such a blessing to me, but have pushed me WAAAAAY far out of my comfort zone…I came away surpassing my goal by a landslide. It was a huge blessing in the end. So, so many graces piled upon.

We enjoyed an amazing company party with my husband’s job. I will never be able to reconcile the blessings and generosity of the people that my husband works for. It truly is a gift to be part of their working family.

And yesterday we enjoyed celebrating my daughter’s early 7th birthday.

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

woodlandbirthday

It was so fun to decorate the house a little and watch some little girls use a needle and thread for the first time! Absolute joy (and a little craziness too!)

We finished out our weekend enjoying some time with the leaders of our church family. It has been amazing to my husband and I how quickly these people have become like family to us.

In the end, this entire weekend filled with parties and responsibilities was a huge reminder to me in how my perspective makes all the difference. I can look at each day as a gift and search for His graces or I can put my head down and get through it. But there are so many things I miss when I don’t keep my eyes open and head up!

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guinea pig day

One of my goals for 2014 is to launch something that has been building in my mind and heart for the past 2 years. While I’ve been puttering around with ideas and a website for the past few months, I knew that one thing that had to happen before the end of 2013 was a sewing practice day. There was no way I could start this home-based or brick and mortar sewing school without a little guinea pig action.

I invited some friend’s children and set up three groups to work through and labeled it “guinea pig sewing day.”

Sewing day 2013

The first two groups were made up of six to 9 year olds. Each of these groups worked through a pillowcase project.

Sewing day 2013

Sewing day 2013

These girls worked on some hand sewing and then at the end of class had the chance to sew a few straight seams on the sewing machine. Clearly this was the highlight of the day.

Sewing day 2013

Overall it was a great experience to work through this project with two very different groups. I was able to see where the hiccups would be and where I would need to change and adapt some different parts of the process.

Sewing day 2013

It gave me a good idea of what it takes to prep for these groups and also how long it might take for a group of 3-6 to get through a project.

Sewing day 2013

And even more it let me know how much I could handle on my own!

The last group of the day was made up of a few middle school girls and a lovely high school freshman. They were hilarious and so much fun to work with and truly made me remember why I taught middle school for all those years!

Sewing day 2013

I had both machines set up for their project and it was so much fun to see them working. This group put together totebags from fabric pieces that I had pre-cut.

Sewing day 2013
I just love this picture and had to include it!

Sewing day 2013

These girls did such a great job and we had so much fun! It was an super fun way to end a whirlwind of a day.

Overall, it truly confirmed in my heart that this is the direction I want to go next year. While I long to keep going with daisyeyes and etsy in some capacity, I do know that my focus is going to change some. Interested in finding out more? Check out the new website for more information and more pictures…and check back often because it’s a work in progress and changing all the time! The launch date is hopefully somewhere around February 2014.

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party planning: woodland style

I used to go crazy with my kiddos birthday parties, but in the years past I’ve really slacked off. This year, I’m getting back into my old groove and having so much fun planning! It helps that I’m finally planning a little girl party, we are doing a theme that I love and I’m also using some activities as a try out for my dreams to come.

decorcollageThe decor plan

We are doing a woodland themed party and I found these awesome invitations at Bunglehouse Designs and I just love how they turned out! I don’t have to mail any of these invitations, so we are going to package them in these cute yellow envelopes I found on etsy. I pinned this cute little “welcome friends” sign a while back and I’m thinking of making a little bit larger version to hang on our front door…more than likely out of felt (go figure). I found this great fat quarter bundle of fabric called Bluebird Park by mono and I think I’m going to make a pennant banner for a little decoration. The long term plan is to paint my chicks bedroom close to this turquoise color so it will make a great addition to her room after the party. I also pinned this owl lantern and I’m hoping I can get my hands on some cheap party lanterns and make a few to hang around the house.

 

activitiescollageThe activity plan

Another idea I pinned was making these great little tree necklaces. I found a seller on etsy and this will be our opening activity for while we are waiting for all the girls to show up. I’m hoping to find some woodland themed rub on stickers to use. After a little dance party, we will make some woodland themed hoops. I’m planning on cutting out each girl’s initials and a mix of flowers and woodland creatures out of felt and then each girl will learn how to stitch them down. They will each leave with a finished 5 inch hoop with a little green twine for hanging.

food CollageThe food plan

The minute I saw this tree stump cake I knew that was the one I was going to do. I’m planning on making some little felt toppers much like this seller on etsy. I love these little acorn cookies and some other food ideas I am tossing around are: chocolate covered pretzels, trail mix, fruit flower kabobs, regular pretzels and/or teddy graham bears. The party is in the middle of the afternoon, so I don’t feel the need to have this huge smorgasbord, but I would love to have a variety of some snacky foods for those that aren’t crazy about cake.

I’m not planning on doing any major party favors…it’s a crafting sort of party so each guest is already leaving with a necklace and a hoop, but I do love these little s’more bags so I’m thinking we might at least do these as a final thank you for coming.

So, there you have it. The pictorial plan for the chick’s birthday coming so very soon!

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