Coppelia Birthday

Coppelia Birthday

I realized I never wrote about my Coppelia themed birthday I had last year. It was a lot of fun to plan, so I enjoyed getting to go back and re-live it again. Since I’ve had so many ballet birthdays in the past, I was able to simply add some doll details to the decor I already had.

Coppelia has always been a favorite ballet of mine. It is often performed by community/children’s ballet companies and has an innocent simplicity to it. That being said, many people are not familiar with it. So I was sure to have some of my ballet books at hand to familiarize guests with the general plot . We had a little story-time for the younger guests and I was happy to see the children  become enthralled with the tale of the doll-maker and his beloved Coppelia come to life.

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a mini cake I had on my actual birthday

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one of the ballerina dolls I had for decoration

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some scenes from my ballet books

    

    

a bunting and rosettes I made from materials I found in my sewing room

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some pretty presents

if you’re feeling in the mood to watch some Coppelia for yourself…

One of my favorite figure skaters performing a Coppelia program.

Anyway, I love Coppelia even though I don’t get to see it performed that often. The music is also quite charming to play on the piano. The light-hearted tone of this ballet makes it easy to use as a birthday theme. I hope to update soon with some of the sewing projects I’ve been working on recently. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Itty Bitty Aprons

Hello there! Sorry I haven’t had many posts recently- not much sewing going on! But lately I’ve been easing myself back into stitching mode before holiday season commences (and I get super-busy).

One project I enjoyed was some little aprons for my niece. I have quite a collection of aprons myself, so I jumped at the opportunity to make her some in a Hello Kitty print. For the first one I used this pattern available on Etsy. The second one was cobbled together from various tutorials, but I found this one most helpful.

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For another short sewing project I made a fabric pumpkin to accompany my growing collection of pastel pumpkins. Here’s a great tutorial for fabric pumpkins in a variety of sizes.

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I’ve got my costume pretty much finished (Mary Poppins), as well as three other costumes I made this year. So I’m looking forward to Halloween. But most of all, I’m happy to have my creative spirit come out of hibernation.

Thanks for reading!

disney frozen birthday

A few weeks ago, I had the fun task of planning my niece’s birthday party. She had a Disney Frozen theme, which was a real treat for me since I’m such a fan of the movie. And because it’s such a popular movie, there are tons of cute party ideas out there–so most of what I made are from tutorials I found online. Really, my biggest challenge in planning this party was finding snowflake decor and craft supplies in May! Here are some of my favorite projects from the party.

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Of course I love anything with ruffles, and I’ve wanted to try and make one of these ruffled crepe paper boards for a while. Tutorial found here.

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Some little hair ties I made to go inside the goodie bags.

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Elsa crowns! Pattern found here.

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For the boys, I made “Personal Flurry” head bobbers.

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Modeled by Shellie May (I couldn’t resist).

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My favorite part is always assembling the goody bags. This beautiful Frozen party was a big inspiration for the paper crafts.

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Games with everyone’s favorite snowman: Olaf bowling and Pin the Nose on Olaf.

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Luckily I had purchased a little bit of Frozen fabric a few months ago. I was happy to be able to make some bunting out of it.

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These etsy printables were a big hit.

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Cuppies! Snowflake ring toppers made decorating easy.

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Everyone loves a piñata! We also made some snowman and snowflake photo frames as a craft, and each kid got to take home a photo of themselves at the party as a souvenir.

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I really enjoyed making these snowflake wands. Probably not the most practical favor in the world, but I just loved the way they looked and sparkled.

I’m kind of sad this party is over. It was a nice escape to come home and work on all my little projects.

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Sorry I’ve been a bit absent lately. In April I started a new job and it has been kind of stressful. The hours are quite long and it leaves me depleted. So I haven’t had much energy for sewing and crafting 😦 I’m hoping that will change soon, as I don’t feel like myself if I’m not working on a project or creating something.

I did get to plan my niece’s birthday party a couple of weeks ago, so that was a nice diversion. I hope to share some photos from that occasion soon.

In the meantime, I have pictures I’ve wanted to post for a while. These are some quilts I have that my grandma made throughout her lifetime. April 12 would have been her 100th birthday birthday, and I took these photos on that day as a way of remembering her. She was quite a sewer, baker, and musician. As I get older, I marvel more and more at her talents. I think quilting was only a side hobby for her–a practical way to use scraps and create something useful (these quilts are massive!). But everything she made was so polished and beautiful. I remember her knitting and crocheting more when I was a kid, but I know she sewed all the time for her four daughters.

I’m really lucky to have such lovely reminders of my grandma. I can literally wrap myself up in these memories. As I’ve gotten more interested in sewing in the last few years, I’ve also looked at these pieces as sources of inspiration and wonder.

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Thanks for reading! Hope to be back soon 🙂

easter baskets

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Even though I’m busy with two family birthdays this week, I still felt the urge to sew some little patchwork Easter baskets to send to my friends. Perhaps my main motivation was the fact that I bought too many Easter treats to fit into the little bunny pouches I made earlier. Oh well.

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I also wanted to try a new pattern. I thought this Etsy pattern was really cute, and I only had to tweak it slightly to match what I had in mind.  I didn’t have any fusible fleece, so my first basket was a bit soft and floppy. But after picking up some fleece at the fabric store, the next baskets were more upright (but still soft). I used fabrics and trim I had on hand.

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Rather than sew on bows, I decided to clip a hair bow to the front of the basket (I have a lot of those already made up). It was a fun project, but I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I wasn’t in a time crunch 🙂

 

 

 

springtime headbands

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With Easter on the way, I’ve been in the mood to create some floral headpieces. I’m also going to have a little egg-dying party, so I thought it would be fun to dress up some bunny ears, so everyone can have a pair.

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Simple floral headbands are relaxing to make–just ribbon-wrap a plain band and hot-glue silk or paper flowers. Even if the flowers haven’t actually bloomed in the garden, you can still look like springtime.

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It’s even easier to create a unique set of rabbit ears. I found these nice fluffy ones at the craft store. I had some floral garland, arranged it to my liking, and glued in place.

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Of course there’s always the classic bow.

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I had a lot of these chiffon rosettes that I made a while ago, and I was happy to find a use for some of them.

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I also had some scraps of lace and pearl, so I decided to try and fashion my own set of ears to attach to a plain band for a different look.

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I picked up some other springtime goodies at the craft store. So far, I’ve just made some little decorations out of them, but I’m tempted to try a bird’s nest headband or one with a row of pastel peeps.

That’s all for now. Happy crafting!

 

 

hippity hoppity

 

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Every year, I seem to enjoy Easter more and more. It’s certainly something joyful and bright to look forward to after a long winter. I’ve also started some of my own spring traditions, such as assembling little bundles of Easter goodies to send to my friends.

Easter candies and sweets are so cute…It’s fun to assemble a little assortment and imagine my friends’ surprise. I love sending little parcels in the mail. Last year I made fabric baskets from this pattern–one of my all-time favorites. I also made some scrappy little bunnies for my niece and nephew. I didn’t have a pattern, just sort of made it up as I went along, so they are a bit wonky…

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So far this year, I’ve made some little treat bags from this cute pattern. I also adapted it slightly, (adding a lining and a different bunny design). They are really quick to sew, so I think I can make plenty before Easter.  I have some ideas for other Easter crafts that I hope to try soon. In the meantime, Happy Spring!

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for the love of roses

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March has been a difficult month for me, as I’ve been sick for most of it. But little by little, I’ve been feeling better and have gotten back to my old routines. After this very long winter, I am really looking forward to spring, and am anxious to get started on Easter sewing projects, spring cleaning, and new goals.

My mom recently had a birthday. I was sad I couldn’t do more to prepare, but I did make a few things for the rose theme she chose for her party.

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As it was a milestone birthday for my mom, my brother and I were able to carry on a little tradition of giving our mom her age in roses. It really makes the house smell heavenly!

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I made this paper-pieced rose mini-quilt as a gift. I don’t know why I attempted paper-piecing for the first time when I wasn’t feeling well… I was happy to have finished it, but I definitely need more practice. The pattern was very clear and helpful, though. It came from this etsy shop.

 

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A little rose banner to decorate the gift table.

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I found myself staying up late to make paper flowers and rosettes to decorate the photo collage. It was a soothing little project.

That’s all for now. Hope to be back soon with more signs of spring!

starbucks x sakura

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One of my favorite annual campaigns is Starbucks Japan’s Sakura Line. Around this time each year, they issue a new array of Sakura flavored drinks and desserts that are beautiful and delicately pink.

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Of course, Starbucks Japan also offer sakura tumblers, mugs, gift cards, and other goods for people to collect.

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I love how the cherry blossom theme has been interpreted in many different styles and evolves from year to year. Pictured below is 2014’s range. As you can see, mosaic tiles and falling petals adorn much of the drinkware.  I am not as keen on this line as I have been of other years’, but it is quite pretty. I was immediately drawn to the mugs (they look like they would feel nice to hold) and the water bottles, but I probably won’t try to hunt down any of these items this year.

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These glasses, one the other hand, would be a real treat. Upon the addition of cold water, the petals turn pink! Unfortunately these sold out fast.

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The sakura line has expanded to other Asian countries, but I don’t know of any plans to make it a worldwide campaign 😦 That being said, sakura season represents the promise of spring and the contemplation of beauty, and that is something to celebrate no matter where you are.

So to get in the spirit, I decided to make some cherry blossom sewing projects, bake some green tea cookies, and get out my collection of Starbucks Sakura items.

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I have this gift card from last year’s line. It is one of my favorite designs.

I also kept this bag because of the falling cherry blossoms.

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Here’s my tumbler collection. One aspect of the Japanese range that I appreciate is the option of smaller sized to-go mugs. The two on the right are just perfect for one cup of tea.

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Speaking of tea, I recently made this little tea bag wallet. The pattern is from the book Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi. I’d been hoping for this book since its release, and happily, I got it for Christmas. This is my first project from the book, but I can’t wait to make more.

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I also made a sakura tea mat (just an excuse to bake tiny cookies).

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Even if you can’t get a sakura latte, you can still make your own coffee sleeve out of a favorite cherry blossom fabric. I adapted the pattern found here.

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I would love to try the sakura chiffon cake or sakura macaron, but like hanami, that will have to remain a dream for now.

Thanks for visiting and have a lovely day!

in a valentine’s mood

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I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. When all the Christmas lights are down and the ornaments are packed away, I comfort myself that another holiday is on the way, bringing hearts and roses, little cards and chocolate. I think of February, not as the coldest month, but as a month of sweetness and love.

In elementary school the Valentine party was always my favorite. I loved making a tiny mailbox and preparing my cards with ribbons and seals.

I also have a weakness for anything heart-shaped. And frilly, lacy things. And chocolate. (You get the idea).

I made this Heart Wreath last year for my door, following this tutorial. It’s a breezy project–you can put on your favorite romance movie and pin away. However, in retrospect, I wish I would have used a thimble or bandaids as I pricked myself many, many times.

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When I’m bored I find myself making little heart softies. They’re nice to tuck into a Valentine care package or to decorate a small space.

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I have a tiny collection of vintage Valentines. I use them for decoration, but I also love when I find just the right card to give to someone.

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My dad’s childhood Valentine box. It is a little tattered, but it actually won a prize in his kindergarten: the Little Red Riding Hood book pictured.

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Each year I make up little boxes to give to friends- nothing much just some chocolates and hair pins, and a Valentine of course!

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I love to type out little notes for handmade Valentines.

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I made some more heart-shaped potholders from this tutorial.

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Some Valentine handkerchiefs. Some old, some new.

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Found these little mail bags at Pottery Barn Kids a few years ago. I thought they were so cute, but now I might try to make one myself.

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February is so cold and snowy here– you have to have lots of desserts!

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Here’s a VERY simple craft- if you’re like me, and have an abundance of red and pink shopping bags.

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I used a heart-shaped gift card as a template and just traced hearts onto the bags (avoiding any text or folds). Punch two dots per heart, string up, and enjoy!

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Thanks for your visit! Have a lovely day!