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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Free Fairy, Princess, Unicorn Birthday Party Invitation Printable

It's starting to feel a little like Fall in Georgia and a few leaves have turned bright yellow. So my mind is turning to the end of the month, not because of Halloween but because our Princess's birthday is on the 31st! I can't believe she is going to be 5! I love this age! 

She has requested a Fairy, Princess, Unicorn Party. Isn't that a mouthful! I am going to try to spend as little as possible on the decorations and activities but have the greatest return on the value. I'm excited about all the ideas floating around in my mind. I can't wait to share them with you because, as usual, my blog will see the benefit of her birthday. 

I hope you can use my printables and the upcoming party ideas for your special princess. To get started I have made the invitation. (Here are more free printables and invitations for you.) It ended up being quite different than my initial design, but I love it so much more!

My final design elements came from several places. I wish I could find out who originally made the watercolor flowers at the bottom of the invitation, but link after link only took me to a dead end. They are so beautiful! I am thankful for the artist who made them. The unicorn and the fairy were clipart shadows. The crown came from the letter A on this font.

Here is the information you will need to personalize your invitation.
I used the color 554141 for my fonts.

Here is the invitation for you to print. It's for an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. You have 2 invitations per page printed. I am edging mine in gold glitter.

The invitations are slightly smaller on the print so that there will be no clipping of the image when you print it. I don't know if you run into that problem, but I have before. I always print a test image.

Happy Fall, y'all!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Little Ellie, Free Elephant Doll Pattern

It's almost time for my God-daughter's birthday again. I wanted to make her a doll that was of a completely different sort than last year, but could still wear the clothes from Betsy's wardrobe. (There is a free pattern for Betsy and a tutorial for her hair as well.) Ellie is photographed here wearing Betsy's Reversible Dress:

I am making this tutorial differently than I have in the past. Instead of using a collage, I am going to write under each picture. I receive a fair amount of non-English speaking traffic and want my viewers to be able to have the post translated easily.

1/4 yard of fabric
matching thread
black embroidery thread

Here is a PDF of the pattern.

These are the front pieces laid together. The front body piece, also has the underside of the trunk.

Start by sewing the three head pieces together. Sew up the center dart, as well.

Done. As you can see my first pattern draft did not have a center dart. Sometimes I revise my patterns in the process.

Pin the right side on the fabric head the the rightside of the front body piece with the trunk pieces together.

It will look like this once you have sewn the head to the body and the trunk is together.

For the ears: turn the pink fabric and the grey fabric right side to right side. Sew around the curve. Turn right side out, slightly fold down part of the ear, pin onto the head. Sew onto the edge. When you fold it back you see what it will look like on the body.

Sew around the edges of the arm and legs, stuff, sew to the edges on the body front piece. Make a small hole in the back bottom piece and sew in the tail. Sew up the darts on the back body piece.

Here is the body with the pieces unfolded. We're starting to see what Ellie will look like! Embroider the eyes on at this point, if you haven't yet. I used a 4 strands of black tread and did 6 stitches for the round eye and 1 stitch 3 times for the eyelashes.

Time to sew the 2 body pieces together. First sew around the head.

Second, tuck the arms in and sew down both sides of the body.

Third, tuck the legs inside of Ellie's body and sew the curves on the bottom edge together, leaving a 1.5" hole in the bottom.

Now it's time to turn your doll right side out. Start by ulling out the legs, then the arms head. Stuff the body from the hole and hand sew it shut. You are done!

Here's Ellie in the other side of the dress. Isn't she a darling!
I hope enjoy making Ellie. I would love to hear form you and take a look at your creations. So please comment and let me know how you used my patterns.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Best DIY Chalk Paint (made fast, cheap, & easy!)

What makes this version of chalk paint the best? It provides beautiful, thick, one coat coverage and doesn't get hard if you put the lid back on the sample pot. Perfect for me because I noticed a spot that I some how completely missed the next morning. I just opened my paint up and used it, no new mess, no wasted materials. It seems thicker than the Annie Sloan Chalk paint I might try cutting the ingredients next time. I'll keep you posted on how that works.

I read and read and read about how to do most things before I just finally try it. My first foray into chalk paint has been no different. I wanted to DIY it, but there were so many recipes out there. I kept reading about different methods or the same method with different users. I thought, "Oh man! I am going to have to try these all!" And then I found a blog that had tested each method and wrote about the consistency and abilities of them all in enough detail that I felt comfortable trusting her. I read through several posts, with updates (which I loved), and was quite excited. She found that mixing Calcium Carbonate and Plaster of Paris was the best method for the above reasons. She had the pint recipe written down and I realized if you halved the recipe you could use a paint sample for smaller projects! I was excited and went off with my information memo about what to buy and how to use it on my phone. I used her recipe and found that it worked perfectly. Now for the idiotic part of my story: I FORGOT TO PIN HER BLOG! I can't find it! If anyone thinks they know who wrote it, please let me know so I can link this to her blog! She deserves credit for all of her posts and others might want to read them too.

Here is a link one reader shared that has a ton of helpful information about chalk paint. Best of all, I think it is the blog that I was looking for!

1 Tablespoon Calcium Carbonate
1 Tablespoon Plaster of Paris
1 Tablespoon Water
8 oz. Flat Paint Sample

Roughly stir in the Calcium Carbonate & Plaster of Paris with a plastic spoon. Add the water. Put the lid on and shake it up.

Then paint. I prepped my surface by wiping it down with a clean wet rag the morning before and sand it by had for about 5 minutes.

Our powder room cabinet from 1987 had seen better days, but it now looks great again. I am still trying to decide if I want to use a gel stain on it to give it more depth. I didn't distress it because that would have really distressed my husband. Unfortunately, he can't seem to get past the word shabby in "shabby chic." 

I'll write about how I sealed it later. With three kids, the main floor powder room will take a beating. So I had to weigh my options seriously before I committed. Nap-time is over.

Shared at these Party Places & "Wow us Wednesday."

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DIY Decor on a Dime: Art Prints & Framing with Burlap

This is called a floating mount art print. It's super easy, though you would pay a good bit to have it done professionally. All together this project cost me $4 for the art book I wanted, everything else I had on hand, but they are super cheap to purchase if you don't have them already.

The past two weeks have been pretty amazing on the DIY home front at the Okra abode. I have made and used chalk paint and stripped chairs for the first time. It's been an intense time when the kids nap because you know that's all the time I have. My projects: redoing the powder room on our main floor and revitalizing a 6 chair kitchen table set. I love the new color on the PR walls. It's Valspar's "Carolina Inn Club Aqua." What do you think?

I love being frugal. The cheaper I can make something that looks amazing, the happier I am with it. I blame my frugal ancestors, it must be genetic.

art work
foam board
cutting materials
(I am crazy about "YES! Paste." It has amazing hold, is safe for kids to use and lasts forever. If it starts to dry out add water. I have been using the same tub for 14 years.)_

I used frames that I bought at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $1 years ago, foam poster board from the dollar store, burlap left over from another project, and this used Audubon art book from Amazon for $4, an Exacto, ruler & glue. The frame was a bit beat up. So, I sanded them down (I made 2) and stained them with my trim stain.

1.Cut your background material to the same size as the cardboard back to the frame. Here are easy instructions to cutting burlap perfectly the first time.
2. Cut your foam board to the size of your art.
3. Glue the background fabric onto your cardboard. Glue the art work to the foam board. Glue the foam board to the background fabric.
4. (Optional things I did.) Refinish your frame, add an information tag with on foam board underneath.


I love this particular method of framing because it is fast cheap and easy. I used it in Blythe's room with the free printables I made. It was the perfect way to coordinate it with her room by using left over fabric scraps from the quilt I made for her bed.

Here is a photo of what they looked like:
Have a wonderful week!

Shared at these Party Places & "Wow us Wednesday."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas! (Embracing Our Awkward Mess.)

The Christmas picture. They are a painful obligation that never goes "right" for us. I just pull out the least awkward looking photo, print 40 and send it off with a sigh.  However I have realized, odd ball photos I never send off are the ones I love best. I have multiple folders labeled Christmas Card Fail 20** full of funny, truthful photographs that I didn't even like until years later. Some of those sessions left me crying in frustration. (Especially when I looked at all the photos I had made of other people's families. Fail definitely defined how I felt.) Now I accept that the mess is lovely in its imperfection and worth more than the staged beauty I had envisioned. I can't look at them without laughing. I am thankful that my "successes" were so mixed, perfection is not nearly as entertaining!

So, from my beautifully imperfect family to you and your wonderfully imperfect loved ones, MERRY CHRISTMAS. May your home and life be filled with joy, peace & hope in the coming year!

With Love,

(What is Blythe doing with her hand?!)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Free Pattern & Tutorial for a Simple 18" Doll's Nightgown

Blythe is now 4! I wanted to get her an 18" doll like my American Girl Doll that she admires. However, I am not going to pay $100 for her first 18" doll. I consider this doll a cute training doll. (I bought her at Target for less than $30 & she came with 2 outfits and pairs of shoes.) She loves "Izzybelle" and I have started making them matching outfits, which she loves even more!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mermaid Pennant Banner, Free Printable

Blythe's birthday is almost here and I am in decoration making mode. I hope you liked the free printable party invitations I posted yesterday,