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Monday, March 25, 2013

Quick & easy Easter decorations

This will be the first year I'm playing host for our big family dinner on Easter Sunday, and I couldn't be more excited! I love a new opportunity to get my craft on. Since a majority of the people coming to dinner are under 15, my focus for decor had to be cute and fun. I put together some ideas on my Spring Pinterest Board, and went from there. After I picked which pins I was going to mimic, I created a shopping list and hit up the dollar store first.

My first two projects were center pieces for the dinner tables. I've seen a lot of cute ideas involving candy & flowers, so I went with that this year. Here is the first piece I got inspiration from. I loved the spring flowers with matching eggs inside. Here is my version:

I am so happy with how it turned out! I picked out three purple flower bouquets, one butterfly/grass topper, one pack of pastel eggs, one bag of marsh mellow flowers, and a vase (the ribbon was repurposed). Total spent on this centerpiece: $7

This is the pinspiration for my second piece. I liked the color blocking (green m&ms, pink peeps, and yellow daisies). When I got to the store, I realized how many bags of candy I would have to buy to do an entirely green bottom, so I just went with a general candy egg layer, peep layer, and yellow flowers to top it off. Whose do you like better??

I used one bag of eggs, one box of peeps, three yellow flowers and one vase (ribbon was repurposed). Total spent: $6

The last craft I picked up today was a jelly bean & bubble tray. I thought this would be cute for the kids to snack on before we ate, and the little bubbles would be a surprise for them to either keep & take home, or use throughout the day. I also found a q-tip painting art project that used the same tray as the jelly bean & bubbles - a deviled egg tray! So clever. I knew the dollar store kept these party trays in stock, so I added it to my list, too. It was a huge bummer to find out the Dollar Store only had one deviled egg tray in stock... so I improvised. Here's my jelly bean & bubble dish:

This piece cost me $2 (one package of eight carrots, and one bag of jelly beans - I already had the dish). I know the kids will LOVE picking out their favorite jelly beans and snacking until dinner is ready, and annoying the adults with the bubbles! And BONUS - my kids will still have the egg tray I found for some q-tip painting later this week.

Since I didn't have a lot of easter decorations, I used all of our Easter baskets and cute bunny stuffed animals to decorate the rest of the house. I also got one lily plant in honor of my grandma - my mom always brought her one for Easter. My grandma will be with my Aunt for Easter this year, but atleast we'll see the lilies and think of her. I know that by Sunday, the entire plant will have bloomed beautifully. I can't wait to see the flowers!

My last Easter themed project is teacher gifts for our preschool. Between the kids' teachers (they each have two), and our administration (who we never forget!), we make nine gifts, so I always have to be "creative" in coming up with a cheap way to make all our teachers feel special. I had seen these adorable apple gifts floating around the internet for back to school gifts in the fall, but wanted to spruce it up with a spring theme. I found the little cups three for $1, we already had marsh mellows, and then I found this Ultimate Fuzzy Kit in pastel colors in the arts & crafts section at Target for $3.98. I used hot glue to attach everything, and cellophane bags to hold the candy (which I already had). Total spent: $6.98, bringing my total per gift to $.78cents. I call that a win! Here they are:

These were so fun to make. I had my daughter fill the candy bags, and she picked out the nose, eyes, and bunny tail to glue on each bunny dish. Fun way to spend some time together, and get in a little fine motor work as well. (; To finish this project off, I taped a little paper to the bottom of each bunny that says "Some bunny loves you," and had my son & daughter write their names.

That's it for my spring crafting so far! What have you been making?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Quilts, skirts & sewing - Oh my!

In between my kids' birthday parties this Winter, I found some time to sew together a few little girl skirts, and a couple T-Shirt quilt inspired baby blanket quilts for one of my friends.

First, here are a few of the skirts I've made lately:
For the Houston Rodeo
A Spring flirt skirt!
Inspired by my nephew's Fireman Birthday party

 I love whipping up these skirts for a special occasion. They make an fun event extra special - especially since I usually make a second for my daughter's "twin," my niece who is right behind her in age. Whenever those two walk around in these matching skirts, my sister-in-law and I always get asked if they are sisters. Here is the girls wearing the fireman skirt's at my nephew's second birthday in March:

Abigail & Lily, March 2013

The other big project I worked on was baby blanket quilts for one of my friends. She wanted them to look like the T-shirt quilt I made for my cousin-in-law Kelly, but with baby blankets instead of T-shirts. It is such a great way to make a keepsake with all those baby things a mom never wants to get rid of... I couldn't say no! I also got to try free motion quilting for the first time on something of this size, so I was pretty excited. I'm happy with how they turned out! Here are some pics from the process:

Top layer sewed together, ready for batting and quilting
Sewed, quilted, and all ready to send home.
A close of the quilting. I did a zig-zag pattern around the boarder of the blanket peces.
The top layer pieced together and ready for quilting
All finished. I quilted the boarder pieces with squiggly lines to add a girly flare. 
A close up of the stitching.

That's all for now! I have a couple projects in the works, as well as some I've already finished (and need to photograph!)... a couple pillows I stitched together for another friend, some more cute, themed skirts, and a special T-shirt quilt for my friend who is pregnant with her THIRD GIRL!! I am so excited to get to work on her project. She's lucky I'm not leaving town for two months - which if you know me, you know that's a pretty big deal - ha.