Seamingly Crafty

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Dum Dum Tree Tutorial

I finally got the Dum Dum Tree done.  I seen a post on Pinterest that had a sucker topiary tree and I wanted to have one on Caitlin’s sweets table at her party.

After trial and error I finally got it done.  My first attempt was a total fail!  I tried using a small cone for the suckers and found that when I got to the top there was not enough room for the suckers to fit and the cone was breaking apart.

As seen in the failed attempt above the cone did not make for a good base.  I tried only pushing the Dum Dums in halfway, well I actually had no choice in the matter because that is as far as they’d go without getting crowded even at the bottom.  So with that said, I’m going to move on.

I am all about being frugal as most of you know, and I enjoy seeing what I can make and how awesome I can make a party on as little cash as possible!  It is like a challenge for me!  I love to entertain but I don’t love the bill that comes with it. Luckily the cone above came from the Dollar store and it will not go to waste still because I will break it up and use it as stuffing for my next project that requires to be stuffed. 🙂

This project was made with 95% materials purchased from my local Dollar Tree.


I added the push pins to my project as I was moving along on it.


  • 3 foam cubes (Dollar Tree)
  • 1   2″ foam ball (multi pack Dollar Tree)
  • approximately 265 Dum Dum Suckers
    (I had some on hand and bought 5 additional bags at the Dollar Tree)
  • 4 large thumb tacks
    these come in a variety of sizes shapes and colors I had these on hand but I did purchase them at the Dollar Tree a few years ago
  • A scrap piece of felt
  • A larger piece of scrap fabric
  • wooden dowels (Dollar Tree)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • coping saw or other serrated cutting utensil
  • 3½” circle template (I cut out from a cereal box)
  • scissors
  • sharpie
  • colored pencil or chalk (not pictured)
  • a clean large work space

Lets get started!

Open the foam cubes and trace the circle onto one of them. (photo 1. below)

Using the coping saw carefully cut straight down around the circle. (photo 2.)

Once you have the circle cut out flip the cylinder over and place the 3″ circle template on it. If you haven’t cut straight down evenly you will get what you see in photo 3 below.  Hold the template and carefully shave off the excess foam using the coping saw.

Repeat this for the second foam cube. Next put a good amount of hot glue on one of the cylinders and stack the other on top. you should now have a nice tall cylinder as seen in photo 4. below.  Do any more trimming needed. however as seen in my photo it doesn’t have to be perfect because it is going to be covered.

A side note: use one of the larger foam pieces you cut off to test the glue on the foam. You want to be sure it isn’t going to eat through the foam! If it does your glue may be too hot.  And you may need to use a cooler temp hot glue.

This is very messy!! Use a cloth to cut on so you can easily dispose of all the foam you cut off.  Pay no attention to my un manicured nails 😉

We want to make sure that glue cools completely before we attempt to start poking at it so set it aside get rid of all the foam that is now covering you and your entire work space and floor.  Grab your large piece of fabric and lay it flat with the wrong side up.  Take your 3rd foam cube and place it in the center of your fabric and using your chalk or colored pencil trace it 9 times as seen in the photo below.

Cut out the entire combined square leaving at least ½” extra material all around.  This cut does not have to be perfect just as long as you leave enough material to fold under.  Next you want to cut from each corner in stopping at the center square as seen in the photo below.

Still working from the picture above put some hot glue all around one side of the cube and carefully put it in the center square.  Next put some glue in the square just below the cube. you don’t need a large amount but enough to be sure it sticks. Pull that side up snug and press and smooth it to the side of the cube.

Turn the cube counter clock wise and carefully put some glue on the piece of fabric that is like a triangle now folding it over snug smoothing it out as seen in photo 1. below.  cut off that little part that is hanging over the side.  Turn the cube counter clock wise again and put glue in the square and pull that side up taught and smooth it. Next turn the cube clockwise put some glue in the triangle and smooth it over the one you have glued down already as seen in photo 2 below. Cut off the extra piece hanging over the side.

Turn the cube all the way around to the opposite side of the triangle pieces you glued down and glue down the triangle pieces on this side. Don’t forget to cut off that extra piece that hangs over the side.

In photo 3 below you can see I am cutting off part of the triangle piece, the first thing you want to do is fold the triangle in and then fold up the side to be sure you have a nice edge lined up then cut the excess off  put a small line of hot glue to hold the fold over.  Do the same on the other side. Put hot glue in this folded edge square pull it up taught and smooth out see photo 4 below. Repeat on the opposite side.

take care in step 4 to make it pretty, this part of the tree will be visible.

Flip the cube and glue down the edges on the bottom.

Your cube should look like the one above at this point. Next put a little hot glue on the tacks and push them into each corner on the bottom.

Cut little squares out of your scrap felt and put a bead of hot glue on them and press onto the tacks as seen below.

These would make really cute jewelry displays too I think 🙂 so adorable!!!  IF you can’t find decorative thumb tacks at the Dollar store try Wal-mart or an office supply store!

Now we are going to move onto the 2″ ball.  cover the ball with fabric gluing and working the fabric in small sections cutting excess fabric off along the way once you get down to the bottom of the ball cut off all excess fabric. Next cut a circle out of the same fabric and glue it onto the bottom of the ball covering up the gathered fabric taking care to glue down the edges of the circle! Be careful not to burn your finger!!  I’m a daily cook at home and I craft a lot so my fingers are used to the heat but it will still burn the day lights out of my fingers if I don’t let the glue cool a bit before pushing down.  I also use the stand part of my glue gun to push down small parts of fabric.

once the glue is cooled you can rub at the glue that is exposed to get it off. But if there are stubborn pieces that can be seen (if using black fabric) you can use your sharpie on them to blend it in.

Using your coping saw cut a wooden dowel in half.  Next take your scissors and poke a small hole through the fabric on the bottom of the ball. Put some glue on the end of the dowel and insert it into the ball taking care not to go through the top!

My daughter said this looks like a cake pop.. she is addicted to starbucks birthday cake pops 🙂 Styrofoam everywhere still 🙂

This would be a great time to take a break and stretch, do yoga, take a brisk walk… whatever makes you centered 🙂 Or you can switch over your laundry… yes unfortunately it is a chore that we have to do! UGH! My least favorite chore!  You will never see me get excited to wash clothes.  I must have been one of those people that did nothing but wash clothes all day in a past life… like down in the basement of a castle!  Or I could have been the princess and never had to wash clothes… either way I think I’d dislike it no matter which I would have been lol 🙂

Now that you have centered or done a chore lets get on to the fun part!!!

start pushing the Dum Dum’s into the cylinder.  I suggest pushing them in all the way as seen in photo 2 below.  For 2 reasons 1. you will use less suckers to take up space and 2. the tree will be much more stable.

The only uniform I used in putting them in was in the first row. after that just start pushing them in working your way up to the top.  You will see in photo 3 below that there are some spaces between some suckers.  This is ok we will be going back filling them in later.

Once you get to the top push your dowel that was inserted in the ball down into the center of the cylinder.  Take care to go down straight, pull back out and put some glue on the dowel and push it back down into the hole.   If you didn’t get the dowel to go straight down you can use another piece of dowel and push it in next to the ball as seen below to straighten it out.  Add some glue around the dowel. You will want the ball to be about 2″ above the cylinder.

yeah yeah, I should have taken a break I stuffed the stick in crooked lol

Start filling in the rest of the way with the suckers going all the way up to the ball. Then go back and fill in any gaps between suckers.  I used approximately 265 suckers.  You can cut your cylinder shorter if you like so you don’t need to use as many suckers.

Once the suckers are all packed in push in on them all the way around making sure they are all snug.  Then gently lay the sucker tree on it’s side.  Cut another dowel in half and poke each half into the bottom of the cylinder as seen below.

Using your colored pencil or chalk heavily color the bottom of the dowels as seen below.  Carefully pick of your tree trying to keep it centered on the fabric cube press the dowels onto the fabric. The lay back down on it’s side.  This will transfer the color onto the cube so you know where to poke through the fabric.  If it didn’t work scrape more color onto the dowels and try again.  If it did work use your scissors and carefully poke through the fabric.

Remove the dowels and put some glue on them then push them back into the holes and allow a few minutes to dry a bit.

Put some glue along the dowels and on the top of your fabric cube, carefully push the dowels into the holes you cut in the fabric and down into the cube. make sure it goes all the way down it should with no problem.

Allow the glue to dry completely and sit back and admire YOUR Dum Dum sucker tree!

I am going to be adding rainbow ribbon around the bottom and the tag will be black, purple and white! I am also going to pin a purple number 16 to the top of the ball.

I hope you are as excited to try this as I was to make it!  This can be used at any kind of party and it will be amazing!  Boys parties too!  I think it would look awesome with camo material!  Or even cartoon theme!

So grab your reuseable bags and head up to your local dollar store and get started! 🙂

Until next time stay Crafty!!

Word.. 😉


Beef Rice Soup

I snapped this picture with my iPod. not too bad. 😉

If there is one thing I dislike more than doing dishes and laundry it has to be cleaning out the fridge every Thursday morning and tossing the past weeks leftovers!  I don’t know about anyone else but it seems like to me when I make less there isn’t enough because everyone is starving! But when I make more I end up putting another meals worth in a container and into the fridge to be forgotten about and tossed on Thursday!

I have been in a soup mood for a few days now and today while looking in the cupboard for some soup nothing seemed to jump out and beg to be cooked.  I thought about dinner I had made the night before last and I grabbed the beef bouillon to make a broth.  Out of the fridge came the Veggie fried rice.  It was amazing, and it satisfied me in more than one way.  First It satisfied my soup craving and second it was satisfying knowing that was one less meal that went to waste.

I am assuming this might work with fried rice from a Chinese take out too!  I just might have to try it next time!

Here is what I did:

4 cups of water

4 beef bouillon cubes

approx. 1 ½ cups of leftover veggie fried rice.

1 tsp. crushed peppercorns

Bringt the water and bouillon cubes to a boil and cooked until the cubes dissolved

slowly add in the 1 ½ cups of fried rice and crushed peppercorns

boil about 5 minutes

serve with crackers!



Heart Shaped Box Re-purpose part 2

For those of you that followed my first post on re-purposing heart shaped boxes here is the second part.

Tonight my daughter helped me with this one cause it is for her.

I found a really cute how to on the kodak website for a candy box photo frame. You can find it here.

Here is how we made ours.

I had my daughter pick out a cute picture of her and her boyfriend then used the box to trace the heart.

We carefully cut the heart out.

We used silver acrylic paint on the back side of the box and inside around the picture.

We cut out a stand on the back then hot glued the hearts together and glued the picture inside.

Sooo adorable!

I still have a couple more boxes I am going to re-purpose so be on the look out for it!

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Spring Cleaning 101

The Spring Equinox is March 20.  Spring is literally around the corner!  Very soon the squirrels with be frolicking, tulips and daffodils will be beginning their ascent from the dirt and the birds will be singing joyful springtime songs.   Nothing beats the slumpy winter blues like a fresh and clean home!

I am going to share with you my spring cleaning list and how I go about completing it.  Now because this is an extensive list I suggest doing one or two things on the list a day and getting your whole family to help!  We like to put on some music to get the family cleaning!  I remember my mom always put on music Sunday morning after breakfast to clean.  It is a tradition I carried on to my family.   I am also including the list I write out for my husband.  He would rather go fishing but this stuff must get done so putting on his music in the garage and giving him a cooler and a six pack usually helps. 🙂

To keep from cleaning spaces more than once I start at the top and work my way down.  Here are 11 things to have on hand to help out with cleaning:

  1. distilled white vinegar
  2. cleaning rags
  3. 20 mule team borax
  4. lemons
  5. duster
  6. vacuum
  7. Mr. Clean magic eraser
  8. baking soda
  9. mop and bucket
  10. broom
  11. steam cleaner

Lets get started, as i said I work from ceiling to floor to keep from cleaning multiple times.  You can choose to do one room at a time or do the ceilings in all rooms etc.  I prefer doing one room at a time but there is no rule on spring cleaning.

Get a box for items you no longer want or need and mark it sell or donate. Along the way of spring cleaning add items to the box.

Spring cleaning list

basic cleaning steps for all rooms:

    • sweep cobwebs from ceilings making sure you get in the corners, determine whether or not they need to be washed or just spot cleaned
    • wipe down all horizontal surfaces with a rag dampened with vinegar
      • door frames
      • artwork and pictures
      • base boards
      • shelves
      • banisters
    • remove all glass light covers and wash in warm soapy water
    • clean ceiling fans
    • wipe down walls Mr. Clean magic eraser comes in handy for this job fill a water bottle with equal parts water and vinegar and a few wedges of a lemon squeezed in and the rind put in the bottle.
    • vacuum floor and wall vents and wipe down with vinegar
    • remove and clean window treatments per factory recommendations (check tags)
    • bring floor mats and rugs outside and take out some aggression and beat them with a broom handle 😉
    • wash windows inside and out and scrub the tracks with soapy water and an old toothbrush

Room by room list:

      • Organize declutter and deep clean bathrooms
        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above this includes taking down and washing shower curtains.
        • pull out everything from cabinets and drawers wipe them out
        • check dates on meds and vitamins and dispose of  any that are expired
        • replace items and organize as you put it all away.
        • empty and clean out trash can using vinegar and lemon
        • wash the sink and tub and shower I find that a scrub brush and 20 mule team borax works great! Don’t use vinegar or lemon on tiles! It will eat away the grout!
        • wipe down the cabinets
        • give the toilet a good scrub down using a good cleaner that gets hard water, cleaning the out side around the toilet, use a steam cleaner if you have one!
      • Organize declutter and deep clean kitchen and dining room

        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above
        • clean off and declutter top of refrigerator remove any magnets wipe down with vinegar
        • clean the oven spray it with cleaner and move on to the next step while you wait for it work.
        • remove everything from freezer wipe out and clean shelves in warm soapy water organize and check dates on food when putting it all back. replace baking soda box.
        • remove everything from fridge clean shelves and drawers in warm soapy water check dates  on food and condiments. replace baking soda box
        • remove knobs, burners, and burner covers from stove top and clean in warm soapy water
        • if your burner covers are crusted with greasy grime that wont come off in soapy water place them in a 2 gallon ziplock bag pour about 3 tablespoons of ammonia seal the bag and let sit over night then wash in warm soapy water. (you will be amazed at what actually comes off!)
        • wipe down and clean small appliances
        • run coffee pot cleaner through your coffee pot after wiping it down
        • clean out Microwave if you have stubborn splatters in there bring some water to a boil in the microwave and let it stand a few minutes it should wipe right out.  Invest in food cover for your microwave.  I did and wow! it keeps the splatters off the walls of the microwave!
        • clean out dishwasher if you have one following manufacturers cleaning directions
        • clean out and organize cabinets and drawers getting rid of clutter (mix matched lids etc.) wipe out with vinegar.
        • clean the front of cabinets and drawers
        • clean out sink.  My cousin Amy posted a great sink cleaning and repair technique on Painted Posies, you can find it Here.  it explains how to get tough stains out of porcelain sinks.  The same technique can be used on stainless steal for coffee stains etc.
        • wash counter tops to get tough spots (between back splash and sink I use my steam cleaner.
        • by now the oven should be ready put on those tacky yellow gloves and have at it.
        • wipe down tables and chairs
        • clean out drip pan
      • Organize declutter and deep clean living room and family room

        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above.
        • clean and vacuum couches and chairs
        • clean electronics remove all books games movies from cabinets clean and dust sort put away
        • dust knickknacks and lamps I find that using a can of air works great
        • vacuum under all furniture
      • Organize declutter and deep clean bedrooms
        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above.
        • remove all bedding including skirts and pillows and launder
        • sprinkle the bed with baking soda and leave sit at least an hour then vacuum off with the brush attachment this would be a good time to flip your mattress
        • dust down and clean lamps and knickknacks
        • wipe down all dressers and furniture
      • Organize and declutter wardrobe and closets (make use of the sell box)
      • Organize and declutter office/computer room
        • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above
        • clean off desk wipe down
        • remove stuff from cabinets wipe out
        • sort out papers
        • organize clutter
        • this is a good time to go through that file cabinet and get shredding 😉
        • thoroughly wipe down desk chair
        • don’t forget to spring clean your computer!!  delete old unused files and games get those pictures printed and put on a disk  etc.
    • Organize deep clean and declutter laundry room/ utility room
          • work from the ceilings down using the steps in the basic list above.
          • wipe down and clean out cabinets
          • with help pull out the dryer and follow the manufacturers instructions on cleaning out the lint area in the back of the machine this can be a fire hazard if it gets too stuffed with lint.
          • clean and dust off appliances

      Finishing up and final touches

        • sweep all floors taking care to get in the corners and under all appliances etc.
        • vacuum all carpets getting in corners and along walls and under all furniture etc.
        • deep clean carpets with a carpet cleaner rinse thoroughly left over soap will collect more dirt and grime
        • deodorize all drains including in basement I pour in baking soda a little water then dump in vinegar wait 5-10 minutes then dump a little more vinegar wait 30 mins and dump really hot water to flush.
        • clean out and dust off vacuum cleaner and floor cleaner swiffers etc.
        • change vacuum filter
        • change batteries in all smoke and carbon detectors and test

At some point I’m sure the husband has started to work outside .  But to get started on his list I walk around in every room with a tablet of paper and pen and jot down all the maintenance that needs to be done.  This stuff will be added to my husbands spring clean up list but at the bottom because I’m not afraid of  hammers and nails and power tools so I will be helping more than likely with these things. And I will make sure the work is done in each room before I get started in it.  I will get a large box and mark it sell for our next garage sale and put it out in the garage for him to put any unused and unwanted items.

The Husbands Spring Cleaning List


          • Organize and clean up the garage
            • Organize the tool box
            • clean off the top of the tool box and work bench
            • clean out and organize the drawers, cabinets and shelves.  Putting loose nails, screws, etc. in plastic containers or jars.
            • straighten up the sports station putting air in the balls that need it. (have son do this while you are cleaning other stuff)
            • put remaining Christmas boxes up in the attic
            • sweep floor
          • Clean up the patio
          • Organize the shed
            • move the snow shovels and snow blower to the back
            • move the sleds to the back
            • bring forward the lawn mower and wheel barrow
            • bring the grill forward
            • sweep the floor
          • clean up the garbage can area and clean out the cans with lysol
          • Maintenance inside the house
            • oil hinges on doors if needed
            • tighten door knobs if needed
            • fix small hole in the computer room wall
            • replace threshold between hallway and kitchen
            • treat the pergo floor in the kitchen
            • upstairs bathroom toilet is wobbly.. see what’s up with that and fix it.

Well that’s it! That is my extensive spring cleaning list. I am sure there is more that I will add along the way.  But when it is all done we all feel better and we are ready to take on the summer! 🙂  No matter how you choose to take on your spring cleaning whether its all at once or a room a day I hope this post helps!!

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Up and Coming…

I have never really been one to despise Mondays but for those of you who do rest easy…. Another Monday is done.  I have been in denial all day but it’s time I face it.. I think my husband and I are coming down with another cold. 😦  Yesterday we took Caitlin out for some family exercise.  There is this old toboggan hill not too far from us that is closed down.  All that remains aside from the building at the top is a forever staircase.  There are 126 steps.  Sounds like nothing until you start the hike up those suckers!  A little side story.. just before I was diagnosed with graves disease I was working my butt off losing weight.  I actually lost 50 lbs with a lot of exercise and calorie counting.  With my lovely diagnosis came the weight I worked so hard to get off!  It took some time to stabilize my thyroid enough to live my life almost normal again, but I am now working again on losing the weight.  So anyway, with me back on the diet and exercise train and Caitlin in conditioning (we sparked a cord and even the hubs and Stephen are working out!) we started running 3 times a week.  So I’m figuring, I’m on my 5th week running so the stairs would be no problem.. Well I actually made the climb without stopping!  On previous attempts I had to stop 2 or more times.  So this in itself was a great achievement for me… but my lungs paid the price!  I literally felt as if I was about to collapse a lung.  My husband thinks we are both just coming down with something because I have been congested and coughing since.  This evening I’m feeling body aches! YUK!  So yes, I need to face the fact that I may be getting sick… again.

On the plus side of being sick, it leaves me lots of time to create!  And today I wasted no time getting started!  I have been working on a surprise for my followers!  A first time ever (for me) Printable FREEBIE!! 🙂  I will give a little hint.. It will help you with organizing, and it involves some crafting. Yes I know it’s not much to go by but when it’s all together and ready I will post it along with a tutorial!

Tonight I also made a run up to our dollar store and grabbed some supplies for a project I’m going to be working on for the Sweet 16 party!  The tutorial for this will hopefully be posted this week!

I’ve also been getting my ideas gathered for St. Patrick’s Day!! And working on re-purposing our heart shaped boxes.  (great song btw)

Stick around! I’ve got lots of fun coming up!  🙂

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Heart Shaped Box Re-purpose ♻

Valentine’s Day is over and you are left with a few reminders like the cards and flowers.  You also have that heart shaped box that your yummy chocolates came in.  Last year I received this very pretty box from my husband. It was a velvety material with a white and gold rope around the edges.  The sides of the box where also velvet.  It was so pretty I didn’t want to just toss it in the garbage but I also didn’t want to have it sit around in my closet with other clutter I really need to start weeding through.  So I thought… What a cute pillow this would make!!

I started to carefully pull the material away from the cardboard. Once I had it all pulled apart I noticed the material and rope was all just glued together. So my second step was to carefully sew around the entire seam making sure I caught the rope too.

Although the heart was pretty as it was, I still wanted to add a little something to it so I looped it up and put it on my machine and embroidered an “A” in the middle with white thread.

Next I used the foam that was placed between the fabric and cardboard as a guide to cut out a heart from some scrap satin I had.

I sewed it together stuffed it and this was the ending result…


This year my box of chocolates did not have fabric on them.  I did see some really cute ones in the store tho!

I will be posting other Reusable ideas for heart shaped boxes!

Until next time.. Stay crafty and be green!!


Valentine Freebies from out and about!

Today I had planned on getting another project done and sharing it but I ended up taking care of laptop problems on not one but both of my children’s laptops.  So time got away with me.  What I did manage to do today in my own surfing for last minute Valentines was to gather a nice list of Valentines Printable Freebies!  So if your month has flown by and you need something asap have a look at the links below.  I hope you enjoy and find that special something!  Thanks to all the wonderful people that shared these freebies!

5 Valentines Card printables

© Pauline Grayson @ Sweet Muffin Suite

Kids Valentines printables

© Pauline Grayson @ Sweet Muffin Suite

Valentine coupon book for that love in your life

Valentines Sucker Cards

You’re a catch Valentines cards

Mustache valentines

Popcorn Valentine

Valentines Tags

Valentines bingo

More Valentines coupons adults and kids

Valentines Mad Libs

Well there it is all the awesome freebies I came across today!  Actually there was way more but these where my faves!  Browse the blogs you are sure to find more!

I hope I helped simplify a few of your Valentines days 🙂  Thanks for stopping by!


Now where do I begin…


Guest Signature Pillow

While Caitlin and I were browsing Pinterest we came across this neat signature pillow.

She loved the idea and LOVES pillows so I decided I’d make her one in the colors of her party colors.  Which by the way as seen in the top photo she chose purple and black as her color theme for her party.  However we are still trying to decide on the sweets table because she’d love for that to be rainbow colors.  I am going to try and work that out. I have no clue how because such strong colors like purple and black are hard to blend with the rainbow.  I am giggling a little bit to myself now because if you read my previous post ‘My Sweet Little Lady’ I mentioned how I see my daughters personality and Ora.  I see her as a prism but not just the rainbow but the white and black as well.  She wants her color theme to be her favorite colors which are pretty dominant colors but also wants rainbow colors.  Any ideas on how I can play with this to make it work would be absolutely wonderful!! As always comments can be made by clicking that cute little heart on the top right of this post.

Anyway back to the pillow…

The materials I used are:

  • 1/2 yard of white medium weight cotton fabric. I just bought the cheapest fabric in the weight and color I needed I wasn’t looking for an expensive fabric. It is going to be written on.
  • Iron on transfer paper for your printer. I used white shirt transfer. I would prefer to use dark shirt transfer paper because I like the end result better. The dark shirt transfer paper is like a rubbery type paper and it’s white. It does require more steps but it can be printed normally. Whereas the white shirt transfer paper is clear and you have to print your design mirrored.  The white shirt transfer is what I had on hand.
  • A photo editing software. I used Adobe Photoshop Elements to create my design.
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • printer

I created the design and printed it out.  For the pillow I just made a simple bolster pillow but before sewing it all together I ironed the design centered on my main pattern for the bolster.

I have also been wanting to create a tag for my sewing projects.  So while I was at my machine I set up my embroidery parts and whipped up this cute little – ish tag.  I used a scrap piece of muslin I had left over from my heart pillow project and embroidered a simple heart with my initials frayed the ends and it was done.  For a trial tag I thought it came out pretty good.  I want to experiment with paints and stamps too until I find my perfect tag design.


I’m feeling like I’m getting ahead with her party.  That is a good thing considering I always feel overwhelmed and am constantly running and freaking out the week of our parties making sure everything is done and everyone will be happy.  My goal is to have everything done and ready a week before so the week of I can worry about nothing but the food and baking. 🙂

Sorry for the horrible pictures.  My camera battery went dead so I had to use my ipod camera. YIKERS!!


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My Sweet Little Lady



Here is my beautiful little lady Caitlin.  She was born in 1997 weighing 8 lbs 3 oz. We had a hard time trying to figure out if she was going to be a boy or a girl.  We went in for our first ultra sound the whole way Daddy was saying “I know it’s a boy”!  It was like he bonded with the baby in my belly before I did!  We get down to the time during the ultra sound when the Dr. asked if we would like to know the sex of our baby.  YES! of course we did 🙂  So he gets the machine lined up and just about in position to determine the sex and her little hands both move down and cover herself.  We were the talk of the office for some time.  The Dr. told us never has he ever seen this happen.  Luckily we have a recording of it.  See back then we didn’t have that fancy machine that gives you a real life 3D photo of your baby.  Ours was just black and white 2D.  Well the Dr. gave us another date for an ultra sound and we eventually were told “it’s a girl”  We were thrilled, and at that moment she became Daddy’s little girl. My little boy was going to be a big brother and have a little sister to look after!  Along with my son and the thoughts of his future I started to think of hers!

Caitlin and her Daddy April 1997.

Caitlin and her Daddy April 1997.

She has grown into a beautiful young lady.  She is still Daddy’s little girl and I don’t think either of them could live without the other. Caitlin has a unique sense of humor.  She can get a room of crabby people laughing.  She loves music, some of her favorite bands are; Asking Alexandria, Bullet for my Valentine, Black Veil Brides and Bring me the Horizon.  She has a very colorful personality.  To me her Ora is like the prism but the whole picture not just the rainbow.  It’s all the colors and black and white as well.  She loves crafting with me. She paints and sews also.  She enjoys cooking and baking. She recently made a red velvet cake… YUM! 🙂  She loves to play xbox and watch movies as a family.  We have family game nights and movie nights. Her and I love our Mom & Daughter days! We shop, and get lunch and just talk about anything!  Caitlin doesn’t want children (she said they creep her out), she would rather have a house full of random animals.  She currently has 2 guinea pigs and a beta fish.  We have had the lizards, hamsters, etc.

Caitlin and her big brother Stephen.  She loves to cut and style hair! He is such a champ, what a sweet brother letting her practice on him.

Caitlin and her big brother Stephen. She loves to cut and style hair! He is such a champ, what a sweet brother letting her practice on him.

About a year ago we found out Caitlin had a kidney stone over half the size of her kidney.  For a couple years she would randomly complain of back pain which was brought to the attention of her Dr. and passed off as sympathy pains at first for her Father (he had herniated several disks in his back).  Then a year before we found out what it was, she was really complaining of pain. I took her again to see the Dr. and this time he asked her to leave the room and told me he thinks she wants attention.  This was odd to me because our children get an overload of attention we are always spending time together.  He assured me she was fine but gave her a prescription for muscle inflammation and sent us on our way.  Last March she got up one morning and sat on the couch in a curled up position, I asked her what was wrong and she said her side hurt really bad and ended up getting sick. I was terrified thinking it was her appendix and it had to hurt bad enough to cause her to vomit.  So it was off to the ER we went.  After several hours and and a couple xrays the Dr. came in telling us she had a kidney stone about the size of a dime.  She would be admitted and a specialist would be consulted.  That evening she had a CT scan and the next morning the specialist came in eager to meet this wonder child.  He showed us the results and told us how big the stone really was, the xray only showed a small portion of it which would be the hardest part of the stone.  He was in shock and many questions came out as to how could she have gone so long not knowing had she ever complained of pain.  Why wasn’t she screaming in agony.  He was also upset to know that when her pain was brought up to her Dr. it was brushed off. Although he advised we got a new Dr. the deal was done when the ER Dr. told us she had a kidney stone.  I had a stone when I was 22 and my exact words were “I’d rather be giving natural birth to twins”  so I know she was hurting and bad!  It was a very long week he didn’t want to waste anytime he wanted to get that thing out asap.  he gave us 2 dates to choose from one was the day of her grandpas surgery and the other was a day after her birthday.  She wanted to be there for her grandpa so she chose the day after her birthday!  After the whole ordeal was done we went for a follow up to his office and the entire staff had to get a peek at the amazing 14/15 year old that had a kidney stone the size of her kidney and took it like a champ.  She was the talk of the office.  We were very fortunate that her kidney did not suffer damage.

A good friend of ours was telling us about how she extracted dna from a banana Caitlin had to do it for the science fair.  She only got a participation award because the judges said it was too advanced.  It is very easy actually. :)

A good friend of ours was telling us about how she extracted dna from a banana Caitlin had to do it for the science fair. She only got a participation award because the judges said it was too advanced. It is very easy actually. 🙂

This was our ditch day 🙂 We went down town to the Field museum and Shedd Aquarium. We had such a fun and educational day!

Well that was a little bit about the girl of the hour!  a couple stories and a bit about her.  We are so excited to get this planning under way.  We already have some crafts lined up for the party and I can’t wait to share them!!


The Road to Sweet 16


A Sweet 16 party is a tradition celebrated mostly in The United States and Canada, it’s a party to mark a teenage girl’s transition to early adulthood.  For most girls, Sweet 16  is an important step in their lives and to some it’s comparable to their wedding day….

So here we are in our home just a couple short months away from our little girls Sweet 16!  I have been planning this day since I found out our baby is a girl!  My daughter has never been one for attention.  She used to get bad anxiety at parties, although for some time I thought having a Sweet 16 Party may not be happening, we have done a birthday party for her every year hoping the anxiety in crowds would pass.  In the last year I had been discussing this with her and I am super excited that she is as excited as I am to have the party(possibly, I think I might be a little more excited).  I unfortunately was dealing with a very big life changing event on my 16th birthday so there really was no time for such party for me.  I was planning my journey as a single teenage mother, but that is another story for another time.  I wonder if that is why every detail of my children’s teenage years must in my eyes be perfect. i.e. Homecoming, school sports, Prom, first date, graduations, college prep, sweet 16 etc.

Anyway,  I have been surfing the web the last few weeks gathering some information here and there..  Anyone that knows my daughter knows that fluffy pink sparkly things just wont suffice! She will exit the party or knowing her she’d turn it into a ‘burn all froofy pink stuff’ party.   I, of course would love nothing more than to book the best banquet hall and hire her favorite band “Bullet for my Valentine” but that’s just not in our budget.  I have come to the reality that my 16 years of planning this party wasn’t really much of planning, more dreaming 🙂  because I. am. not. ready for this.  Whilst surfing the interwebs I have found this is not going to be easy, I WILL no doubt be running around like a mad woman as I did for my sons high school grad party!  There is so much to be done!  There is so much tradition in a Sweet 16 party that I had no clue even existed!  The shoe ceremony, tiara ceremony, candle lighting!!! UGH! I will get through this 🙂 and because this is such an important day for my daughter this party isn’t going to be just another party.  I am dedicating an entire category to this eventful day!  I will share my journey and preparations and lets not forget the crafty things I do to prepare along the way, and I’m sure some tears as well!  The first step on our road to Sweet 16 is a list!

Sweet 16 preparation list

  1. Date
  2. venue
  3. guests
  4. save the dates
  5. invitations
  6. theme
  7. food
  8. entertainment
  9. party favors
  10. candle lighting ceremony
  11. shoe ceremony
  12. tiara ceremony
  13. cake
  14. decorations
  15. video montage
  16. photo booth?

So many ideas… I think I need to get to pinterest 😉

My next post will be an introduction of the girl of the hour!  I will hopefully by then also have some ideas to share and a date picked out.  Tomorrow is a good day to start some planning because she has a four day weekend! (Thanks Abe!)  So until then….


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