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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall craft projects

Decorating is always a fun way to welcome in the change of seasons and fall holidays. Living in Texas, I have a hard time decorating for fall when it's still 103 outside, sooooo...  I personally don't make the switch from summer decor to fall until October. It's a perfect time to put up my fall mantle and Halloween decorations at the same time. Last year I spent a lot of time of time on homemade decorations. I pinned a lot of inspiration here on my October pinterest board. Take a peek! Here's the fall mantle I put together this year:

I'm really happy with the way it turned out. The cinnamon sticks in the jar add just a touch of fall scent to the living room. Speaking of cinnamon, I have heard a lot about the cinnamon brooms this year, so when I saw one at Trader Joe's I decided to give it a shot in our home. This time, however, my idea was an epic fail. The broom had such a powerful scent, my allergies were crazy in about 30 minutes. The cinnamon broom had to be moved outside. If you are interested in trying this out at your house, I suggest making it yourself so you can control the amount of cinnamon oil you use, and the length of the soaking.

Any change of season wouldn't be complete without some new dresses for my baby girl. In case you couldn't tell from my pinterest boards or my last post, I'm a *bit* obsessed with foxes right now... so when I found some adorable fox fabric at the store, I had to buy some! I also picked up some fabric to mak my daughter a new Thanksgiving dress this year. I went for a with a more whimsical print over the traditional options; there's only so many years she's a little girl. (; I also had the opportunity to make a Broncos dress for my niece, and a special birthday dress... but I'll wait for her big day to reveal that one! 

My friend over at Merry Made Collections is, as always, responsible for the magnificent embroidery on my dresses. Didn't she do a great job?? Which one is your favorite? Mine is the fall fox & leaves dress!

And finally, the project I am MOST proud of this fall... Abigail's fifth birthday quilt. In January (yes, the month that came around nine months ago!), when Abigail turned five, she asked me to make her a special quilt to remember her 5th birthday. I was floored. I couldn't believe Abigail wanted me to make something that special for her! Of course I said yes -- even though I hadn't made a *real* quilt since I worked on a Christmas quilt with my mom when I was a teenager. I did a little researching, and found this gorgeous quilt another seamstress has made for her daughter for the same reason - a special birthday girl wanted one. I loved the style she used on the quilt - just enough rapunzel without it being too charactery. I did my best to mimic her quilt, though I went with some different color and pattern choices. I'm really proud of the way the quilt turned out, even if it took me nine months to get to it. (; A special THANK YOU to my sister-in-law for cutting out the fabric letters for me! 

Pinned and ready to quilt together
The finished project
Bottom of the quilt embroidery
Abigail and her new quilt

All cozy, wrapped up in her fifth birthday quilt

Fall is the most wonderful time of the year!

It's been a while since I've update the blog with more than my sewing projects, so here's our fall in a nutshell:

We're having a baby!

Baby C is due March 30th, and we couldn't be more thrilled! Both Abigail and Brody have been able to come to a view of the sonograms, and see the baby moving around. They are so excited. We talk about our new baby every day, and the kids are anxious to learn what baby is "growing" each week. Right now, we're in the middle of week 17, and the baby is the size of an onion. We decided on a theme for the baby's room, and it's been exciting picking out fox fabric for the nursery! Check out my fox themed pinterest board and sewing board for projects I am working on for the new baby.

Another exciting thing happening in our world is Abigail joining Girl Scouts! We hooked up with a troop at our school a couple months ago, and couldn't be happier. It's been a great way for Abigail to make some new friends from our school neighborhoods, and for myself to meet other moms in the area. She is a Daisy scout, and her troop includes both kindergartners and first graders. For her first meeting, Abigail got to work on a baking project with cupcakes, and last week she got to visit Shades of Green nursery in Frisco, and learn about composting and rain barreling. How exciting for her! She really takes her meeting to heart, both connecting with the other girls and learning everything she can. 

Abigail has a lot of fun events coming up with girl scouts, including the Juliette Low birthday party, Boo at the Zoo, and the Nutcracker Ballet in December! She enjoys playing with her new Daisy friends during recess, so I really feel like this was a great decision all around. Look out for cookie sales in February! (;

We've had a couple of visitors come up to see us this fall, including our cousins and Aunt Juju, and Aunt Rachel and her sister Melissa. Abigail and Brody got a lot of fun time in with our guests, and enjoyed the pumpkin patch and arboretum visits with them.

Pumpkin Village at the Arboretum
Pumpkin Village at the Arboretum
Picking out her "perfect pumpkin" at the pumpkin patch
"If you can carry it, you can keep it."

Abigail & Aunt Rachel

Our final fall activity that we enjoyed as a family, was the McKinney Oktoberfest. We go every year, and always have a blast! This year we were even fortunate enough to run into our friends while we were there! After some hay mazes, and face painting, all the kids enjoyed dancing to German music while us adults sat back and enjoyed the show. 

Showing off their face paintings

Dancing in the street with friends

Hope everyone else is having a great fall! With the rest of fall and winter holidays approaching, we look forward to cooler weather, baking days and movie nights with family. 
Stay tuned for a fall themed crafty blog very soon!
Sunday, September 22, 2013

I like big crafts, I cannot lie

It's been a while since I updated the blog with my summer crafts, so I thought I would share a few things I accomplished over the summer. Whenever I get the itch to craft, I usually hit up pinterest first, to get some ideas for my project. The first few crafts I do every season is redecorate my mantel and doors. I pinned lots of ideas to my summer pinterest board, then added my own flare. What do you think of my mantel?

I ended up adding another thick vase filled with shells, that sits in front of the blue candles. I was happy with the blue and white/nautical theme paired with the shells.

For the wreaths, I wanted to try out yarn wrapping this time. I have seen some really cute yarn wreaths lately. I combined that, with the tiny banner flags, and stuck with my nautical theme for the inside wreath. For the front door, I went a little more whimsical with the colors. I was happy with how they both turned out!

For the last one, I just cut various flower shapes out of felt, layered them on top of one another, and used pink headed sewing pins to attach them to the wreath. I bought my green foam wreath for $1 at the Dollar Tree.

Another summer project my daughter actually asked me for, was a new bulletin board. In the past, she's used a few small boards with ribbon that you slide the photos under. She informed me that she wanted a BIG GIRL board.... ha. I let her pick out some fabric, and I grabbed a cheap $5 bulletin board from Walmart, and used the staple gun to attach the fabric to the back. To add a little flare, I cut a letter "A" for Abigail from scrap fabric, and I pinned it in the corner of the board using sewing pins with a pink head. I used the rest of the pins to outline the board, which is purely an aesthetic choice and not needed to hold the fabric in place.

And of course.....a crafty blog post wouldn't be complete without some cute dresses!!! This summer I made my daughter and niece a beach themed tie-knot dress to wear on vacation. My good friend over at Merry Made Collections did the monogramming for me.I was really happy with how they turned out! Cuter than I thought they would (; You can always check out my "Sew Cool" board on pinterest for tips on sewing dresses like this, and more.

Annnnnd finally, with football season approaching, I had a hard time finding cute girls clothes for the Denver Broncos - our second favorite team in this house - so I decided to make Abigail her own dress! I wasn't super thrilled with the officially licensed Brocnos fabric I saw online, so I grabbed generic football fabric, and Broncos team colors to make her dress. I LOVE the applique my friend did for me! What do you think?

That's all for now!! Check back soon... I have some cute fall and Halloween things I've been working on.. and I can't WAIT to show off what my new serger can do! (;

Back to school!

It was a big back to school year for the Copple household - Abigail started Kindergarten and Brody started Pre-K! To get Abigail excited for Kinder - like she needed any help - I made a kindergarten countdown board for her. She was excited to rip off a ring every day and countdown to the first day of school!
Kindergarten countdown!

One more day!
We also let Abigail have an end of the summer party with her 5 girlfriends she started preschool with in 2010! It's been really fun to watch these girls grow up together over the last three years. I loved having them all together before school started. All six girls went to different schools this year!
Playing together

Rapunzel girls (;

Emma, Tessa, Ella, Mallory, Ava & Abigail

First days of school went well for both kiddos. Abigail started back on Monday, August 26th. Here is Abigail on her first day of preschool in 2010, and the first day of Kinder in 2013:


I weigh 42 pounds.
My best friend's name is: Lily and Olivia and Emma and Ella
My favorite thing to play is: With my friends and hide&seek
My favorite color: Yellow
My favorite book: Pinkilicious
My favorite t.v. show: Wild Kratz
My favorite food: Water
When I grow up, I want to: Be a veterinarian
Something I really like: My friends
Something I really don't like: Getting sick
My favorite thing about myself: That I'm nice to other people
Something I want to do this year: Go to a football game - one with the Cowboys in it.

Brody started Pre-K on Tuesday, September 3rd, and speech therapy on Wednesday, Sept 4th. 


I weigh 40 pounds.
My best friend's name is: Abigail
My favorite thing to play is
: Rescue Bots
My favorite color: Blue
My favorite book: The Rainbow Book
My favorite t.v. show: Dora & Diego
My favorite food: Corn Dogs
When I grow up, I want to: Teach my kids when I grow up to be a teacher
Something I really like: Ride my bike and ride my scooter
Something I really don't like: Hitting and pushing
My favorite thing about myself: I like my hair because it's brown
Something I want to do this year: I want to ride my bike.
Friday, May 24, 2013

For Abigail, 5/24/2013

Dear Abigail,

It's been a week since you graduated from Pre-K and you made me laugh so much I couldn't even cry. There were so many chances, so many different times I thought I was going to lose it in that tiny class room I've dropped you off at every day -- but I didn't.

You must be really special, because you had seven - YES SEVEN!! - people come to your graduation. Your mommy & daddy of course came to watch you, but also your Grandma & Grandpa, your Mimi, and your Granny & Memaw (your Paw Paw was so sad to miss it, he wanted to be there for you, too). You are so lucky; you have three Great-Grandmothers that are living, and you have such a special relationship with each one of them!

You with your Memaw & Granny on Graduation Day

 The first time I began to tear up was when your class started to walk into the room and sit in your chairs. All your friends looked so grown up! Everyone was walking so big and tall, just like little people and no longer our precious babies that we've raised for all these years. When I saw your curls bouncing into the room with your big, bright smile, I felt the tears coming... but then you saw your Grandpa and you yelled, "Grandpa!" and I just started smiling. As you kept walking in the room you saw your Daddy, and you yelled for him even louder. THEN, you saw your Granny, and you just screamed, "GRANNY," so loud I thought she was going to have a heart attack. You were so excited to see all your family and you had to jump out of line to hug your Mimi & Grandma. That's one of the things I just love about you - watching you love other people. You just love everyone with your whole entire heart and it makes us all feel so special. You touch everyone you meet; such an amazing gift you have.

Ella, age 5
Your best friend in your class, Ella, was so funny that day. She saw the flowers her mom & I had bought for you girls under her mom's chair and yelled across the room, "MOM! Where did you get those flowers?? Who gave them to you?" It made the all the parents laugh, and kept all our tears at bay. As much as I was there for you that day, I was also there for Ella. You have an amazing group of friends you've made (and kept!) over the past few years, and I can only hope it will always be this easy for you. As a mother, my only dream for you is that you remain forever as happy and healthy as you are right now - not too much to ask, right?

After you all got seated and your teacher gave an introduction to your program, your performance began. You've been practicing your songs at home for the past two weeks, and it was so much fun to be apart of that with you. You  started off with your Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge (which led to a great discussion between your father, Paw Paw & I over dinner that night), and then went onto your Days of the Week and Months of the Year songs. You've been singing these songs at school for three years now, and they went off without a hitch! It was then, though, that I realized the Director of your preschool, Ms. Karen, was still peaking in the room watching you guys.

This year at our school auction, you begged me to bid on "Director for a Day," so you could spend the day with your special friend, Ms. Karen. I've written her letters and thanked her for all she's done for our school, and for loving my children, but I want you to know how much you are loved by her, and how much you've loved her in return. I think she was just as excited to spend the day with you as director, as you were to be director and spend the day with her. That's that special thing you have coming out again -- making people love you! When you were director you first asked me to make you a special dress, "So I can be beautiful & grown up like Ms. Karen, mommy!" (which I did), and you also wanted to bring tattoos for you and Ms. Karen to put on, "Matching BFF Director Tattoos," as you called them (which we brought).

Ms. Karen & your matching tattoos

I only bring this up, because I know you weren't able to see her watching you, but almost as soon as your graduation was over and ran and gave all of your family hugs, the first thing you asked me, was, "Mommy, did Ms. Karen and Ms. Kathy come and watch me? They told me they were going to come watch me and I know they would be sad if they missed watching me!" So yes, baby, yes. They came. They saw you walk to your chair, and sing, and they saw you and all your friends on your special day. I hope you always feel as loved and as safe as you do right now. I hope you always have adults watching out for you, making sure you are growing and learning, and having fun, and most of all taken care of.

The next song you did was the color song, which you were SO excited about. When I made your graduation outfit, you wanted to make absolutely SURE that every single color was on your dress. I couldn't quit figure out why, until this song came on. In this song, the lyrics go through all the colors of the rainbow, and then on the second verse, you have to stand up and touch the color on your outfit they are singing about. Abigail.... you stood up during that ENTIRE song!!! And about half way through we all just started laughing because it was just so obvious that you wanted that outfit exactly like that for a reason. Such a smart girl. I had several people come up to me afterwards, asking if you wore that dress so you could stand up through the entire song, to which I replied, "Well yes, of course! Abigail knows what she's doing! Haha!" Everyone, including your teachers, thought it was so funny. 
Dancing to the color song with your friends

You and Ms. Diana
After the song portion was over, the Presentation of Diplomas began. Oh, Abigail. I thought this part would FOR SURE bring on the tears. My little girl, my sweet baby, was all grown up and leaving this school she's been at for all these years... my mind was made up, this is when the tears would come. But when your time came, you walked up there so tall and proud, and got your certificate from your teacher, and when she went in for a hug, you jumped on her like a little money and said, "I'm the jelly and you're the peanut butter," and I just started laughing so hard. You are so funny, Abigail! I should have known you would ruin my moment to cry with something hilarious. You made Ms. Diana laugh when you said that, too. When you finally let go of her, you turned and faced us, and said, "When I grow up I want to be a rockstar." I hope every single one of your dreams come true, baby girl.

Ms. Natalie, you & Ms. Diana on graduation day

So, I made it through your graduation without a single tear falling. How did that happen? I thought I would cry like baby, and instead you had me laughing and smiling like an idiot through the entire thing. You are such a firecracker of a girl. At age 5 you are absolutely the funniest, most creative  person I know. You are so smart, such a beam of joy to everyone around you. Such a bright, special star in my every sky and I love you every single second of every single day.  And, I guess you finally got me, because I cried when I wrote this. And I mean cried like a baby.

I love you Abigail. Congratulations on your special day.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Useless holidays are fun for crafts with kids

 For whatever reason, my kids really got into Earth Day this year. I'm not sure if it was the Lorax movie, or the recycle art work they made at school.. but either way both of them acted like it was the best day ever.... so I went with it!

We started out by making crayon crafts for our school friends. This is a simple craft you can do for almost any holiday, as long as Wilton will make a pan for it (they will). All you need for earth day crayons is:

muffin tins

Seriously. That's it. You take all the paper off the crayon, and break them into pieces in the muffin tin & melt them in the oven.. done. Since it was earth day, we used all our greens, blues, whites, and brownish/gold crayons to make little earths. I set the oven to 270 and let the crayons melt for 7-8 minutes. TIP: you have to let them completely cool, or you may have some trouble popping them out. Martha Stewart has a tut on molded crayons, too.

Here's how ours turned out:
They were super cute Earth Day favors, totally free (if you have to have lots of crayons laying around like we do), and a fun project for the kiddos to enjoy.  Of course, my daughter had to have some hot pink mixed in to a few of them. Ha!

For Earth Day, the kiddos wanted to make some bird houses, so we picked up a couple cheap ones, and I let them go to town with our art tubes. It was a great way to spend an afternoon! Ever since we hung them up, the kids have spent a lot of time looking out our front windows bird watching!

My next project, a fruit vase, was actually inspired from a vase I saw at Chick-Fil-A. I instantly fell in love with theirs, so I asked the manager if I could snap a quick pic to remember later.The flowers ended up lasting two full weeks, and by the end they smelled like citrus! It was such a neat and unexpected side affect of the fruity flower arrangement. I would definitely make another one!

Mine on the left, theirs on the right:

 The last crafty thing I really did was presents for our preschool teachers during Week of the Young Child. Since we have six teachers and five admin that we like to shower with gifts, I'm always looking for cute ways to make them feel special, while trying to stay on the cheap side -- 11 gifts adds up after five days of gifts!

One day the kids & I hand painted little wooden frames and stuck pictures of them in there. They had a ton of fun painting and decorating, and it was a cute memento for the teachers to keep.

Another day, we wrapped the teachers up a Starbucks drink with chocolates. A fun midday snack!

We also picked up some plastic tumblers and decorated them with the teacher's names, and threw some tissue paper & candy inside. Cheap, cute, & personalized... what more could you ask for!?

One thing that is encouraged during WOTYC is a hand written note to the teachers. Since our kiddos are still on the young side (four & five), I wrote the letter to each teacher or admin, and let the kids draw on the inside of the card. I also printed off instagram pics of the kids and glued them to the front of the card, for a personalized way to say "Thank You!" SUPER cute, and way cheaper than Hallmark!

The only other crafty thing I have done is making a couple bow holders. I made one as a gift, and one for my daughter's room. This was another simple, easy craft that took hardly any time at all to create. A little paint and a staple gun... done.

Here they are: