Saturday, December 31, 2011

new year's eve. the cutest thing ever!

Happy New Year's Eve!
This is the cuh-ut-est thing I've ever seen. I LOVE these two. I'm pretty sure I could squeeze the cuteness right out of them.
They should date. Yep. Pretty much.
I LOVE Zooey's voice. And I had no idea Joseph could sing.
This is the perfect little end to 2011!

And on another note, I'm still in South Dakota hanging out with all my family.
Blogging has been a bit sporadic lately.
But stay tuned, later this month… I have one great big announcement, I can't wait to tell you about it!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My 11 Favorite Posts from 2011

Some of you might not know-- I'm a college Family and Consumer Science Education major-turned middle school sewing teacher-turned stay at home mom. I love and appreciate domestic art forms. Starting this blog has been a really fun journey for me. I love blogging because it has served as a platform for my "continuing education." I have pushed my creative endeavors, crossed things off my to-do list, and have met some pretty fantastic people along the way. I just wanted to thank you- anyone and everyone who has ever visited my blog, left a comment, followed along, and especially those who continue to come back! It's been fun being a part of the blogging community! Here's a look at my favorite posts from 2011.

I officially started my blog in June 2010, but it wasn't until March of 2011 that I really decided to put real effort into it. "Self Portraits in my Kitchen" was my first real post that ever got any recognition. It was featured on Tatertots and Jello, and from then on, my blog began to evolve.




Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to make a skirt out of ties.

Pin It
Hey! This was a guest post in December for Sweet Verbena.

Today I'm sharing a tutorial on how to make a tie skirt, or skirt out of ties. This one is special to me because I made it out of ties that my husband used to wear when he lived in Hungary for two years. So, the colors don't coordinate perfectly, but for sentimental reasons, I'm okay with that! If you don't have a lot ties laying around, you could certainly thrift some- but I would caution you to get them cleaned really well before using them. Most men don't regularly wash their ties, and you just never know where they have been. If you don't want to spend the $$ to have them professionally cleaned, try asking your dad/grandpa/husband/brother/etc if they have any ties that you could have. I used 14 men's ties in my skirt, and I'm about a size 3 or 5, so you can estimate the number of ties you'd need to make this.

Ok, let's get started!


*12-20ish ties 
(depending on your size. I used 14 ties, and I'm a size 3 or 5)
*Hook and eye 
*Possible materials for waitsband
*Thread, needle, sewing maching, etc

1. Start by holding a tie up to your body to decide how long you want your skirt to be. (I did knee length, but I think to the ankles could be fun too)! Then decide the pattern you'd like your ties to be in. I pinned sticky notes to each tie to remember the order I wanted them in.

2. The fun part-- cut all the ties at your desired length! Measure each tie starting at the outer angle, where the ties will meet up, and NOT from the tip/point of the tie.
This is what I mean:

3. Here's where you have to decide if you're going to make this the easy way or the hard way. I chose the hard way, but I'll give you tips for both. Basically....
The Hard Way: you'll unpick the factory stitching on the back of every single tie, then machine sew them each together, then hand sew them back up.
The Easy Way: you'll put ties right sides together and sew.

The Hard Way How-To:
Unpick the stitching from the back of each tie.

Unfold every tie, and line up, right sides together, with another tie.
Sew directly where the fold used to be in the tie. 
Do this step for all the ties, but don't sew your skirt into a circle yet.
Now you have to hand sew each tie back together! This took me quite a while!
The Easy Way:
Place the ties right sides together, and sew a straight line, with a small seam allowance (about 1/4).
This will change the appearance of each tie,making them look thinner, but it will save you a lot of work!

4. It's time to connect your row of ties into a skirt.
But first, measure the skirt around your body. 
Do you need to add or remove any ties to make it fit properly?
If not, you're ready to connect the first and last tie, sewing right sides together, a straight line.
*Important: Leave about 2 inches at the top of the skirt open for a zipper or eye and hook.
Then, hand sew the last 2 ties back together.

5. Once you have the skirt together, you have to decide how to make a waist band.
You could edge finish the top of the ties before doing anything else.
For my waist band, I hand sewed it all. I used the skinny remnant of one of the ties, and basically binded it, like you would on a quilt.
I'm sure there are several other ways you could create a waistband, but this seemed the easiest way for me.
A picture of the 2 inch opening.

6. Once the wait band is all set, you're ready to make it shut. You could do a zipper, but I chose the easy way this time, and hand sewed 2 hooks and eyes.

And there you have it!

Remember to stop by Family Ever After for further details on "Sew-vivor," coming soon!
Katy, you are so sweet for having me today, thank you!
okbye everyone!
xoxo, Rach H {familyeverafter at gmail}

Linked up to some of these great parties! See my huge list of link parties HERE!

Friday, December 23, 2011

{Giveaway} $50 Cutting Edge Stencil

*If you're here for Once Upon a Weekend Link Party, its taking a break for the holidays, and will return next Friday night! Instead, you can enter this fun giveaway if you'd like! Merry Christmas!

Do you have any painting projects you plan to tackle over the holiday vacation, or to ring in the New Year? I know I sure do!!! And I am so lucky that Cutting Edge Stencils is allowing me to do a review and a giveaway.

Here's my room that is in desperate need of help... I can't believe I'm plastering this embarrassing picture on the internet. SO EMBARRASSING! (It's been a year since we moved into this house, not much progress made in our master bedroom, sad)! The first thing on my to-do list after our Christmas vacation is to finish painting our master bedroom, and stencil it with one of the stencils Cutting Edge sent to me. I can't wait!!!

I've never tried anything like this before... there are so many things you can stencil... a wall, canvas art, pillows, curtains, rugs... if you don't have an empty wall that needs painting, don't worry! They have craft sized stencils for you to choose from.

Since I'm a novice with stencils, it's a good thing there are lots of video tutorials from Cutting Edge Stencils. Here's an example:

So who wants a stencil?
This giveaway from Cutting Edge Stencil, is for one stencil up to $50 in value. They'll ship it to you for free.

Required Entries:
--Like Cutting Edge on Facebook.
--Follow my blog via GFC or RSS.
{Then leave ONE comment on my blog, saying you did both things, with your contact info}.

Extra Entries:
--Like Family Ever After on Facebook.
--Follow Family Ever After on Twitter.
--Facebook, tweet, or blog about this giveaway! 
{Each entry requires a separate comment}.

Winner TBA on my Facebook Page.
Random winner announced on Friday December 30, 2011.
US Residents only, please.  

 Good luck!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Post Sweet Treats: Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Until Christmas, I'll be having fun guests as part of "Homemade in December."
Anyone is welcome to link up their Christmas Projects at our Christmas Link Carnival.
This weeks' theme on my blog is Sweet Treats, and we welcome Jenny from Days of Chalk and Chocolate!

I'm so excited to be guest blogging at Family Ever After today!  I love Rachel's blog and she is such an upbeat and fun friend to glad to be here!
I bet you've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen getting ready for the holidays. I know I have!  And every year without fail I bake my ultimate favorite cookie (next to Mallomars which I would never make at home. You can't make Mc Donalds at home and you can't make a Mallomar either but I digress) which are Double Chocolate Mint Cookies. I adore chocolate and I adore mint and I adore cookies. Winning all around!
A few weeks ago I spent the evening baking with my sister and our kids. It was a blast and we ended up with some super yummy treats, including these chocolate mint ones!  I'd love to share the recipe with you!
  • 2 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together, butter, sugar and eggs. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add to wet and blend until thoroughly combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips'
  5. Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes.  The cookies will be soft but they will harden a bit as they cool. Cool about 1 minute on cookie sheet then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.    

If you don't care for mint you can substitute equal amounts of vanilla. And you can really add any chip you want or even chopped up Andes Candies. And if you sandwich vanilla ice cream in between and then roll the sides in min chocolate chips I won't tell anyone. It will be our secret. 
I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a happy happy new year!  And thanks again, Rachel, for letting me share my sweet treat!          

This post brought to you by:
Homemade in December

The Homemade in December hosts:

a few favorite family photos.

Oh my gosh... what is wrong with me? I just spent the last hour looking through the last 5 years of my family pictures on my computer! I saw over on Design Mom that there's a contest for your favorite family memories, and I thought it'd be fun to enter a couple pictures. 

I don't post pictures of my family too often on this blog (kind of contradicts with my title, right? haha), but here are a couple of my favorites I thought I'd share.

my cowboy.

my sisters.
my little sister's prom.
You can submit 5 pictures. What ones would you choose?