Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You wanna learn to crochet?!

Just wanted to let you know about an awesome crafty opportunity I learned about today. Dana from the blog Craftyminx (she's the one doing "A Granny a Day" - check it out, her work is amazing!) is hosting a month-long learn-to-crochet school. The best part is that it's completely free! It starts on Oct. 1, but can be done at your own pace.

So if you've always wanted to learn to crochet, but never known how or where to start, hop on over and check out her syllabus! I'm defintely going to try to follow along with the class... even though my granny squares are still coming along, I definitely have lots more to learn!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sarah's wedding

As I've mentioned before, my sister got married in Iowa two weekends ago. Hubby and I drove up for the big day and I got to be in the wedding and everything!

It was a wonderful day... a bit chilly as it was an outdoor wedding, but everything went off as planned and we had a great time. The flowers (and the bride!) were gorgeous, the cake delicious and the ceremony meaningful.

I absolutely loved being in my home state for the second time in a month, and even more, I enjoyed being with family, some of whom I haven't seen in several years. It was great catching up with everyone... wish it could have lasted longer! Anyway, without further ado, here are some photos (most not by me, some taken by my husband and some taken by my cousin's wife) of the big event!

Love you guys! Congrats again and hope you're having a great time in Ireland! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Owl wedding cake topper

Another wedding detail I had a part in was the cake topper. My sister asked me to make an owl cake topper for her shortly after she got engaged. She found this cake topper on Etsy, which she loved, but it was sadly out of her price range. So she asked me to use it as inspiration to create something a bit more personalized. She wanted the boy owl to have a red beard (like her new hubby) and the girl owl to hold a small bouquet of flowers.

I had lots of fun coming up with a pattern for these owls. I tried to make them simple and natural-looking. They were very inexpensive to make, as I used all materials I had on hand, except for the black and white linen, which I found in the remnant bin at Joann's Fabric. The flowers I ordered from Mycraftgarden on Etsy and I couldn't have been happier. I was a little concerned about ordering from Thailand, but they were absolutely perfect and I totally recommend her beautiful work.

The final detail was base... I really wanted to make it look like the owls were sitting on a stump. My dad sliced a piece off a log and then he carved a little heart into it with his dremel tool. I think the heart might be my favorite detail. It just finished the piece off so perfectly. Too cute.

owl wedding cake topper

Below is the cake topper at the wedding reception. Sarah and Alex did their cake a little differently - they asked a bunch of friends and family to bake different cakes for them, so they ended up with a whole table of assorted sweets. It was lots of fun and I would recommend it as a way to both help out your budget and to get lots of people involved in your wedding day. I don't have any good photos of the wedding cake table (it was in a darkish area and my photos weren't turning out), but all the assorted cakes looked really great.

Sarah and Alex baked the main cake themselves... Chocolate Guiness cake with Bailey's Irish Cream ganache... and yes it was every bit as good as it sounds! I think the cake topper worked perfectly.

owl wedding cake topper

And finally, a glamour shot from their professional photographer, Aaron Borchers. I was super impressed with him and if you or someone you know is getting married in the vicinity of Des Moines, Iowa, you should definitely check him out!

aaron borchers studio

So, what do you think? Might I have a future in wedding cake toppers?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Acorn cookies

Whoa. I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. I never meant to take such a long break... in fact I have tons to post about! I've just been a little bit busy - mostly with traveling to IA for my sister's wedding. In fact, I never touched my computer for a whole week. But I'm baaack!

Wedding pictures will be coming soon, but first I wanted to share with you a fun little project to celebrate THE FIRST DAY OF FALL!

These little acorn cookies are so cute and so easy. The first time I saw them were on the blog Whimsy Love, when Nikki made them for her daughter's woodland themed birthday party. Later, I received the book What's New Cupcake? for Christmas from my parents - this book contains the orginal idea.

Anyway, I've seen these floating all around the internet now, but I made some for my sister's cake table at her outdoor wedding, so I just had to put together a little tutorial so you can make your own. [And you should, because they are sooo easy. And super adorable too!]

nilla wafer and hershey kiss acorn cookies

First, the ingredients.

You will need:
mini nilla wafers
hershey's kisses
chocolate frosting
mini chocolate chips

nilla wafer and hershey kiss acorn cookies

Simply stick the hershey's kiss to the mini nilla wafer with a dab of frosting. Then stick the mini chocolate chip to the top with another frosting dab. And you're done!

I stuck these in the fridge overnight so the frosting could get nice and hard. I didn't want my acorns falling apart on the long drive up to the wedding. And I had no trouble at all.

nilla wafer and hershey kiss acorn cookies

Here are the finished acorns at the wedding in all their glory. I didn't get many pictures because, let me tell you... these yummy little things didn't last long! Wedding guests were sneaking them left and right. I think they were practically gone before the bride and groom even cut their cake!

nilla wafer and hershey kiss acorn cookies

Now go make some of your own... and enjoy the first day of fall!!

Shared here:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doll dress pattern

While I was poking around in my parents' attic a few weeks ago, I found a little treasure that I just had to share.

It's a dress pattern... for a doll! And my grandmother's name is handwritten across the top.

antique McCall's doll dress pattern

The pattern is dated 1921. I know my grandmother didn't use it in 1921 since she would have only been 2 years old, but I'm sure she received it several years later. She may have used this pattern as she learned to sew as a little girl. The tissue paper patterns inside have certainly been used. Wouldn't it be amazing to find the little dress that she may have made using this pattern?

antique McCall's doll dress pattern

The pattern is tiny, the entire envelope is only about 4.5" x 3.5". I've never seen a doll dress pattern like this. Have you seen one of these before?

The envelope is labeled "Free Pattern". Do you think these were given away along with the purchase of an adult-sized pattern so that little girls could learn to sew along with their mothers?

antique McCall's doll dress pattern

This little artifact really touched my heart. What a unique glance into my grandmother's life as a young girl. She passed away when I was only 12, and even though we were very close, there were so many things I never had the chance to ask her about. I will always treasure this little peek into her childhood.

antique McCall's doll dress pattern

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

24. Take a canoe trip

While in Iowa with my family a couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go canoeing with my dad. What a treat! I haven't been out on the river for a few years and I had missed it so much.

canoeing on the cedar river

And I wasn't disappointed. The water was as smooth as glass. There's just something about the sounds and the smells of being out on the river that makes me relax and try to savor every moment.

The evening weather was warm yet not hot. We saw birds - an eagle, herons, goldfinches, killdeer. It was just lovely.

canoeing on the cedar river

I didn't want our short trip to end!

canoeing on the cedar river

Anyone who says Iowa isn't beautiful is certainly wrong in my book! What do you think?

canoeing on the cedar river

Thanks, Dad, for the lugging out the canoe for me. Thanks for the memories.

Let's try to do this again sometime soon. :)

30 before 30