color, then eat!

eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
eleni's cookies
Eleni’s sent us a pretty box of cookies to color and eat. It came in handy since our time this week never really allowed for all the projects I had wanted to do with the girls, so I’m glad thankful for the fun their cookies provided. Now it’s giving me all sorts of ideas because how fun would a coloring cookie party be for kids (or even adults!)?!

The girls went to town coloring and eating them! They each let me have a bite of their cookie too and I can attest to the yumminess of the cookie. It’s really delicious! But again, I’m a sweets person, so if it has sugar, I’m probably going to like it. They spent a good amount of time coloring the cookies, and then right after they were done, the cookies were gone in a flash. Soul was the fastest of them all!

I let the baby color on her cookie too, but not sure if that was a good idea because she might start taking regular markers and think it’s okay to color on her food. Note to self: Hide the markers from the baby. By the time she was done coloring and eating her cookie, her hands were blue from the markers, and her lips and teeth were blue from the cookies. She’s so cutey!

Eleni’s has a bunch of other gift tins and Color Me! cookies that would make great gift ideas (or for small cookie parties). We have plenty of ink in our markers left over, so we probably will make our own cookies to finish it up. I want to look for a house shape cookie cutter and then it would be fun to create all sorts of house cookies! Wouldn’t that be cute?! I know my girls would be all over that. Give them something to color or draw on, and they get in the zone. Just beware of the slight sugar high after…

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this is it… meet my book!

surprise!
This is it… Let’s Sew Together!!! This is my book! Book, meet all my dear readers, and dear readers, meet my book!

It’s all so strange, so nerve-wracking, but also super exciting! Let’s Sew Together officially goes on sale on May 20th, but if you pre-order it now (from the retailer of your choice, see my sidebar for suggestions!) before the official release, you will receive a special digital project booklet. Once you order it, just forward your receipt (attach the receipt or a screenshot) to LetsSewTogether@Randomhouse.com. There are a ton of projects in the book, and I made so many, that we had to overflow some into this special pack. I was bummed when because of page count and the sheer amount of good stuff we put in the book, we had to take some things out, but I’m glad you can still get it this way. It’s a sweet little pack (with 6 projects) and you’ll love them for sure!

You can see a quick flip through of the book, but it doesn’t even show all the projects. The focus is on sewing and teaching you the basics, and how to incorporate kids into it. Making and creating with your kids is really something special. It’s not always about the project, but more so about being together. There are also non-sewing projects and activities, as well as a list of books to read along with almost every project. Sort of like the “Read & Make” series I do here on the blog. And, don’t worry, there are definitely boy friendly projects in here too. I borrowed my friends’ son and he was my faux-son for the book.

I know many of you in the past have wanted me to make a pattern for my giant dollhouse pillow, or my world map quilt, and some of my softies. Well, these things are in the book (you can learn how make your own giant dollhouse pillow and you own world map quilt!), plus a whole lot of other projects I’ve never shared on the blog.  Some of you might have been reading from back in the day when I used to make and sell my wool felt crowns, and you can get a pattern and how-to for those too, but it’s in the special pack if you pre-order the book.

One of the most special things about the book, is that besides True and Brave working on the projects (we did this together after all), their illustrations are littered throughout the book. My biggest gals are published illustrators! I think they are already starting off with an impressive resume. Their names are even listed in the ISBN mumbo jumbo stuff at the beginning, and they were so excited to see that. This moment I shared on instagram was super special because this was them looking at their hard work in the book for the very first time.

There’s so much and I can’t wait to keep sharing more about this whole book thing. It’s so surreal and to have the people over at Random House (Potter Craft) behind me is truly a dream! There will be more posts about the process and how balancing (and unbalancing) in our home took place during the whole thing. I’m so excited about it and I hope you guys are too! So if you want to get more up close and personal with my book, you can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, or Indiebound. You should get it on or around May 20th, just in time for filling up those summer days. Come on guys, let’s sew together!!!

RULES
To receive an exclusive .pdf with a previously unavailable Rubyellen Bratcher sewing pattern please forward preorder confirmation to LetsSewTogether@RandomHouse.com

Offer good through 11:59pm EST on Monday, May 19, 2014.

Open only to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. No groups, clubs or organizations may participate.

Limited to one gift per completed submission form and transaction information.

A link will be supplied upon submission of this form. Download the .pdf documents upon receipt.

Random House, Inc., Rubyellen Bratcher and Cakies are not responsible for lost or misrouted submissions, interrupted or unavailable network or server connections, or other computer or technical issues.

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decipher the clues for the big news…

surprise!
AHHH!!! Did you guess it?!!

I’ve been sitting on this big secret for so long and I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you!!! It’s been a dream come true and I can’t wait to share more with you in the next few weeks. It’s done and (almost) ready to go, so you will be able to get it in your hands before the summer starts (just in time for when you’ll want some projects to fill those summer days). I’m really nervous and excited about it… I don’t think it’s hit me yet. I’m sure you all have many more questions for me, so I promise I will share more really soon. If you want to learn how to sew, more specifically sew with, and for, the little ones in your life (or just learn the basics so you can eventually make dresses like this and this), this is it guys… I’ll teach you!

Hip hip, hooray!
Today I can finally say,
I’ve got a book,
And it’s coming your way!

 

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a home sewn little black dress

little black dress
little black dress
little black dress
little black dress
Ever since I made this denim dress, I’ve totally been on a dress sewing roll (this eye one, and I have another simple one to share!). It’s completely therapeutic to me and a whole lot of fun. It’s kind of like going shopping, but better because I didn’t really spend any money (at least it feels that way since I’ve had the fabric sitting in my pile forever).

This is just another easy, shift dress (inspired by this one I pinned from Emerson Fry), but I did a slight drop shoulder, went a little bit wider on the sleeves, put in bust darts, and more of an A-line. I didn’t follow a pattern, but used dresses I have that are similar in style to eye-ball it. I have followed patterns in the past, especially when it comes to sleeves, so that has helped me understand how to cut and sew a dress. If you have a dress that you really like, study it (take it apart if you can part with it, I’ve done that to some thrift store dresses to study sleeves) and use that as a guide. If you need a pattern, I’m sure your local fabric store will have plenty to choose from and you could probably find a pattern similar to this dress.

My next dress sewing projects are trying to make a dress from wax fabric inspired by this (and this), modify this dress to fit me since I made this for me to wear when I was a bridesmaid and 8 months pregnant, and maybe a nice and light white linen dress for summer. Of course, I wanna try my hand at making the girls some jumpsuits and rompers for the summer too! I can’t wait for spring break, so we can play, make, and sew all day long!

Get yourself to a sewing machine and make yourself a dress! It’s easier than you think and even if you make a mistake, you totally learn from them.

on me: dress, handmade (duh!). stone necklace, c/o lisa leonard. leopard sneakers, steve madden. leaf, just for fun (it makes me less shy camera shy or maybe it’s cause I’m hiding).

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diy: ombré wooden bead garland

wooden bead garland
Ombré Wooden Bead Garland

Supplies:
1″ wood beads
Approximately 2 yards of suede cording per strand
Paint colors of your choice (and white paint to lighten the color)
Paint brush
Scissors

Directions:
Separate your beads into three equal groups. Each of my strands were about 18-21 wooden beads per strand. Paint one group the original paint color, then add a bit of white to the paint to lighten it up to paint the second group of beads. For the last group of beads, add more white paint to the original color and paint that color onto the beads. The progression should be from dark to light to achieve the ombré effect. You could also pick 3 different shades of the same color (as seen with the blue strand pictured) and get your gradient colors that way. I painted each wooden bead with 2 coats of color and allowed it to dry completely between each coat.

Tie a knot about 10″ – 12″ away from the end and insert one wooden bead, create a knot after the bead, and insert another wooden bead, create another knot after, and insert another wooden bead. Continue this until all the beads from the same color are on strung on the cording. Remember to insert it from lightest to darkest (or vice versa) to get the ombré effect. Once the last bead is on the strand, knot it one last time, and cut any excess cording. Continue this for each strand per color. Once all the strands are complete,  gather all the ends together and knot, and repeat for the opposite end.

ombre bead garland
ombre bead garland
ombre bead garland
ombre bead garland
wooden bead garland
wooden bead garland
This would definitely be fun if you wanted to make a whole ombré rainbow, but that would take a lot of wooden beads. If you happen to have a lot stashed away (or a lot of time), I say go for it! I’m sure it would be one stunning garland.

This one is our springtime garland! It’s fun to make one every season to hang on our mantle or over the girls bed. I have another one I want to make with them soon, so we will probably end up with two springtime garlands.

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