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DIY Spring Mini Wardrobe 

Is it weird that I’m writing about my spring capsule AFTER making and posting about my fall capsule? No? Ok, great 🙂 

I’ll be honest with you – participating in the spring capsule contest, hosted by Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates, was a COMPLETELY last minute decision! I made 5 or 6 of the 9 items in one very, very late night (technically morning!) of sewing. I’m so glad I did it, and I get a ton of use out of most of the items I made, but I was not nearly as structured as I was for the fall. 

The first two pieces that I included were from a different crazy late night/early morning of sewing. My husband spent several weeks in NYC for work, so we planned a quick overnight (kid-free!) trip one of the weekends he was up there. I decided the night before my flight that I could not get on that plane without a solid black Made for Mermaids Mama Claire, so I whipped one up. Then I decided I’d want to wear the Mama Claire out Saturday night, so I needed to make a different top to wear on the plane. I had some blue floral double brushed poly that hadnt been earmarked for anything, so I made a long sleeve  Mama Joy Peplum top. Basically, I live in a constant state of “if you give a mouse a cookie.” I think I went to bed at 3:30 am. Woke up at 5:00 to catch my flight. Here are my airport bathroom/hotel bathroom selfies for your enjoyment, haha!

I didn’t get much sleep, but I’m still obsessed with that Mama Claire, so whatever! I hadn’t been to NYC in way too long, so I made my husband do all sorts of touristy things with me. 

I didn’t think much more about the capsule contest until the day it was due. Several people had started posting theirs on Facebook, and I figured I could scrounge up enough coordinating fabrics to make it work. 

One of the similarities between my spring and fall capsules, besides the fact that I have a  stripes/floral problem, is the number of items I kept in each “category”. For this one, I also made 3 tops, 3 bottoms, and 3 layering pieces (plus some bonus wears, of course!!). 

Tops:

Since we were heading into spring, I only made one long sleeve top. I used Made for Mermaids Mama Joy Peplum top, Mama Mya in shirt length, and Mama Mya in tunic length. I don’t love the shirt length on me; the light blue floral will likely get repurposed or color blocked at some point this summer because it’s the piece I wear the least only because of the length. The Peplum and the tunic length Mya are love, love, love though! 

The two on the left are double brushed polyester; the tunic on the right is rayon spandex. I believe both navy florals came from Knitpop, although neither are currently stocked. The middle is from So Sew English. 

Bottoms:

For bottoms, I made a Mama Joy Skirt Separate (wine), Patterns for Pirates Pencil Skirt (stripes), and Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs Leggings (navy). If I had planned farther in advance, I would’ve gotten some lighter solids for the bottom pieces. P.S. The pencil skirt and leggings are both FREE patterns, so go scoop them up if you haven’t already. 

Wine – M4M Mama Joy Skirt w/ peg leg waistband, “raisin rage” double brushed poly from Love Adore Stripes – P4P Pencil Skirt, double brushed poly Navy – P4P Peg Legs, double brushed poly from Knitpop 

Layering Pieces:

My layering pieces for this capsule included a Patterns for Pirates Summer Kimono (pink), sleeveless Mama Mya (gray), and Mama Claire (black). 

The sleeveless Mama Mya had very few modifications. I was originally going to make a P4P Essential Tank, but I didn’t have quite enough of that fabric for it. I made it shirt length, and added lace trim, but I still wish it was a longer top! To make it sleeveless, I literally just made it sleeveless! I turned and coverstitched instead of adding bands. I should have lowered the armscye, but it was already late when I was working on that one 🙂 



Pink – P4P summer kimono, double brushed poly from Knitpop Gray – modified M4M Mama Mya, gray modal Black – M4M Mama Claire, double brushed poly from Knitpop 

Bonus wears:

I didn’t get quite as many bonus wears in my spring capsule as I did in my fall fall version, but I did get some versatility! 


The pencil skirt is just as cute as an infinity scarf and as a strapless top! I didn’t take pictures with the mama Joy skirt, but it can also be worn the same way.

Mama Claire is great because it’s effortlessly versatile! It can be worn two ways just by making it per the pattern, and it’s easy to layer over other pieces. 

I also wore the sleeveless Mya as a separate tank and as a layering piece. I love being able to get several combinations with just a few pieces! 

 

Stay tuned – I’ve already decided I need a winter capsule too. It’s safe to say I have a problem! 🙂 

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Bee’s Fall Mini Capsule 

My wild little Bee is the last person on the planet that needs more clothing, especially since I JUST finished her “spring” mini-capsule wardrobe a few months ago. Alas, I can’t resist.
Here is her previous mini-capsule, that was really just an effort to give her dad a fair shot at dressing her in something that wasn’t pajamas. We love him, but he’s dressed her in some interesting things!

Anyway, I’m in LOVE with her fall capsule that I just finished up. There’s a perfect mix of textures and fun details, but everything (ok, ok, almost everything) is still very practical.

I’m a little more methodical when it comes to planning my own capsules since they require so much more fabric, but you can see I still have a balance of prints, coordinating solids, and neutrals. And some gold sequins, because….well, sequins.

If you have kids, you know they often go through more than one outfit a day! With that in mind, I decided to do a few more than 9 items for Bee. I did 6 tops and 6 bottoms, with 3 layering pieces. I figured that would get me through at least a day and a half. 😜

Tops:

I was tempted to just make a bunch of modified Made for Mermaids Joy since they’re so quick and easy, but I’m so happy I included a little more variety. I made her a short sleeve Nina tunic, sleeveless Holly, short sleeve Holly, twist sleeve Tara, 3/4 sleeve Nina, and of course, a modified Joy 🙂

Gray/gold – M4M Nina, gray cotton lycra from Knitpop/gold sequins from Hobby Lobby (fair warning – the gold sequins are SO itchy and literally scratch up skin. If you use it for something that touches skin, you might want to line it!) Teal floral – M4M Holly, floral woven from Hobby Lobby Beigey floral – M4M Holly, wovens from Hobby Lobby Cream – M4M Tara, cotton lycra from Knitpop, lace trim from Hobby Lobby Burgundy floral – M4M Nina, double brushed poly from Knitpop White floral – M4M Joy with shortened bodice, knit from Hobby Lobby


Bottoms: 

Remember how I said ALMOST everything was practical? Yea, there’s nothing practical about the sparkly tutu-skirt. Woops! Hobby Lobby had a whole bolt of it already on elastic and ready to go, so it was of course a required purchase. I just did a quick seam up the back and the skirt was finished! It did look really cute layered underneath the shorter tops, and as a high-waisted skirt over the longer tunics.

Since we live in the south, I also included a couple pairs of  Made for Mermaids Olivia Bloomers. Once it actually starts to get chilly, she’ll be able to wear tights underneath them to get a little more use out of them. The last 3 are Made for Mermaids Bonny Leggings, our favorite wardrobe staple.

Pink tutu skirt – no pattern. Fabric from Hobby Lobby. Tan/teal/olive leggings – M4M Bonny Leggings, double brushed poly from Knitpop Bloomers – M4M Olivia Bloomers, woven fabric from Hobby Lobby

Layering pieces: 
If you checked out my fall capsulealready, you know how much I love the Isabel as a cardigan. Naturally, I had to make a mini one! This silvery sweater knit was the perfect fabric. I think it came from Hobby Lobby, but I’m not 100% positive. Love that Bee will be able to wear it as a dress or a sweater layer! I also whipped up a little plaid infinity scarf (not practical), and this adorable Vest (free pattern from Made for Mermaids!!), for some added texture.

Scarf – no pattern (but M4M does have a pattern!), plaid from Hobby Lobby Vest – M4M Free Faux Vest Pattern, “fur” from Hobby Lobby Dress/Cardigan – M4M Isabel, sweater knit from Hobby Lobby (I think!)
I’m so happy with these sweet little additions to her closet. No way this girl was going to try on 36+ combinations for me (even though I’m not above bribing with chocolate and/or ice cream), but I know we’ll get plenty of wear out of all 15 pieces this fall!

Need help planning a fall wardrobe for your little one? Come visit us over on Facebook or Etsy!

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DIY Fall Mini Wardrobe

This past spring, I participated in a mini-capsule contest hosted by Made for Mermaids and Patterns for Pirates. I had SO much fun creating different combinations with the nine pieces I made (plus a pair of jeans). When they made an announcement that they were hosting another event for the fall, I knew I had to create more! My husband says I didn’t HAVE to, since I really didn’t NEED 9 more pieces of clothing, but anyway 😜

Here’s a quick look back at my spring capsule:

For the fall capsule, I picked my busiest fabrics first. I had already made a mustard floral wrap dress/short sleeve cardigan using the Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel pattern; I chose my remaining fabrics with that floral and one other burgundy floral in mind.

I find that a good rule of thumb for fabrics for a mini capsule is to choose 2 busy prints that wouldn’t be worn together. In this case, I used essentially the same pattern for both – the only difference being sleeve length – so naturally, I wouldn’t plan to wear them together. Next, I opt for 3-4 neutral colors or patterns (I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I count thin stripes and baby pinks as neutrals in my closet!!), and then 3-4 coordinating colors pulled directly from the patterned fabric. My neutrals overlapped with the pattern coordinate colors, but pink, olive, cream, and brown are all found right in the two florals.

Choosing patterns is always a little harder for me than choosing fabrics. It’s important to balance tops and bottoms, even though I’m so tempted to just make a million tops!  For this capsule, I opted for three bottoms, three tops, and three layering pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tops:


 For tops that are specifically designed to be tops, I went with two Made for Mermaids Mama Ninas, one with short sleeves in top length (pink), and one with 3/4 sleeves in top length with a modified curved hem (brown).

I sized down a little for both Mama Ninas for a slightly more fitted look. I just took a larger seam allowance; it ended up working out to about 1″ on all seams instead of the 1/2″ per the pattern.  Eventually, the pink Nina will be replaced with a Patterns for Pirates Everyday Elegance top in the same color; the pink cotton lycra I used is definitely comfy and looks cute knotted, but it’s not as flattering since I didn’t use a drapey fabric.

I also made a Made for Mermaids Mama Joy Peplum Top (gray). I left off the neckband and just did a quick cover stitch. I’ll pretend it was intentional, but it was really just because I ran out of this triblend!


Pink top – M4M Mama Nina in cotton Lycra from knitpopBrown top – M4M Mama Nina in a $1 slub style knit from Walmart. Gray top – M4M Mama Joy peplum top, no neckband, gray triblend. I don’t remember where I got it, but it may have been Knitpop!

Bottoms:

I’ve gotten tons of wear out of the two skirts I made for my spring capsule, so I chose two skirts for this capsule too, plus a pair of basic black leggings. I used the Patterns for Pirates Pencil Skirt pattern (stripes), as well as Made for Mermaids Mama Joy separate skirt (olive) and Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs (black). The Mama Joy skirt is pleated, but I made my yoga waistband really tall so when folded over, it covers up the pleats. Unfolded, the pleats do show. I have used the Peg Leg waist band measurements in the past, but I just decided to wing it for this skirt!

Striped skirt – P4P Pencil Skirt, liverpool from Knitpop. Olive skirt – M4M Mama Joy Skirt Separate with yoga style waistband, double brushed poly from Knitpop. Black leggings – P4P peg legs, double brushed poly

 

 

 

 

Layering Pieces:

I used Made for Mermaids Mama Claire  (cream), Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel  in long sleeve/tulip hem (burgundy floral), and Made for Mermaids Mama Isabel  in short sleeve/tulip hem (mustard floral). I avoided both the Claire and the Isabel for a looooong time because I just felt like the crossover sat funny on me, but it appears I’ve been converted!

Cream long sleeve – M4M Mama Claire in $1 sweater knit from Walmart. Burgundy floral – M4M Mama Isabel, double brushed poly from KnitpopMustard floral – M4M Mama Isabel, rayon spandex from Sly Fox (sold out, but they have other gorgeous florals!)

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus Wears!! 


My very favorite part about designing a capsule is coming up with different outfits, and thinking of new ways to wear a staple item! Here are some of the “bonus wears” using my nine fall capsule pieces:

Mama Joy skirt with a Mama Joy bodice separate (lengthened by about 4″-5″ so it will stay tucked in better) to create a faux dress look, Mama Joy skirt as a drapey infinity scarf, and Mama Joy skirt as a skirt! It could also be worn as a strapless top. I’ve worn pencil skirts as scarves, but I hadn’t thought to wear a Joy skirt as a scarf before! I just love how it looks with the gray peplum.

Mama Isabel as a cardigan, a dress, and a top! I used no specific modifications to wear it as a cardigan; I just pull both ties behind me on the inside of the Mama Isabel, pull through the same hole, and tie loosely on the outside. Made for Mermaids has additional hacks for a true cardigan/wrap dress mash on their blog! This burgundy floral Isabel will get some MAJOR wear this fall!

Pencil skirt worn as a “slip” under mama Isabel, as a strapless top, as a skirt, and as an infinity scarf! I’m especially excited to wear these stripes under both Mama Isabels that I made. The tulip hem is perfect for date night, but I find it too short to wear if I have kids to corral. The pencil skirt “slip” makes it wearable for me, even with kids in tow!

Last but not least, the Mama Claire can be worn two ways with no extra creativity involved!

If you’re not into sewing, go through your closet and look for nine pieces that can be used in similar ways. Start with the same concept of 2 busy prints, 3-4 coordinating colors, and 3-4 neutrals; you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how many combinations you can come up with!

If you’d like to have a capsule designed and made just for you, come visit me on Facebook or Etsy.

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Made for Mermaids Nina and Mama Nina 

I was SO excited to test the two newest patterns for Made for MermaidsNina and Mama Nina. There are few things I love more than a cute, comfy swing dress, and Mama Nina is just the one I’ve been searching for my whole life. Please don’t tell my husband. 🙂

Mama Nina and Nina both feature several options, making it the perfect addition to back-to-school wardrobes for every age. AND! The raglan style sleeve is a PERFECT way to create some mommy-and-me looks with your boys. Made for Mermaids  also offers the Rowan Raglan tee pattern, which would tie in beautifully for you boy moms that are feeling left out of the fun!

During testing, my little and I tried out top length, curved hem tunic length, hi-low dress length, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves, pocket, and no pocket! Whew! I wasn’t kidding when I said I was in love! My favorite for my daughter is the tunic length; it’s the sweetest little top in any sleeve length.


Burgundy floral – DBP from Knitpop. Tunic, 3/4 sleeves, size 1

Pink stripes – DBP from SlyFoxFabrics. Long sleeve, tunic, size 1

Of course, we can’t get enough of the option to wear mommy-and-me Ninas either!

I wanted so badly for her to love her sparkly gold sleeves, but they are itchy and awful! I’m going to have to line the sleeves, because it’s just too cute not to wear. Speaking of fabric choices, definitely follow the fabric recommendations in the Mama Nina/Nina patterns. The gray & gold I made turned out super cute, and mine is extremely comfortable, but the cotton lycra is definitely not the most flattering. I also tried out liverpool – it was way too hot for July in the south, and it doesn’t drape in a flattering way AT ALL. Our favorites fabric choices were double brushed polyester, and rayon spandex.

ITY / poly spandex blend from JoAnn’s (!!!!). Size blue, long sleeve, dress length
Finally, Mama Nina in top length made great last minute additions to my fall mini-capsule. Look for my capsule post later this week!

Pink Floral DBP – Size 1, long sleeve, dress length

You can purchase each pattern individually for $7 each, OR grab the LIMITED TIME bundle- BOTH patterns for only $10. Made for Mermaids  only offers bundles at release! Sale and bundle ends Sunday 8/13/17 midnight cst.

Bundle

Mama Nina 

Nina (Girls)

Hack Blog Post

Rowan Raglan – Not included in the bundle/sale, but an awesome way to include those boys in the mommy-and-me fun!

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2017 Summer Camps & Mini Sessions

Located in Jacksonville, NC. Final location TBD.

I am so happy you are considering summer art & fun sessions with me!  I am wrapping up my 7th year as an elementary school teacher. I taught 5th & 6th grade reading at a small school in New England, 5th grade for two years, and have spent the last three years teaching 4th grade. While teaching in New England, I happened to work right next door to an incredible art studio! I was able to teach classes after school and during the summer. I taught everything from printmaking to creating art from old (clean!!) socks to Pop Art, and lots of classes in between! I held several sessions in my home last summer, and the kids and I all had such a wonderful time! This summer, I am adding a few other options and (by request) a few adult options!

Terms and Conditions for ALL sessions:

  • Please complete the google form ( located here) to register your child(ren). Once you have registered via this form, a confirmation email and invoice will be sent within 1-2 business days.
  • Sessions will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Invoice must be paid in full to reserve your spot. If a class is already full when you happen to register, an email will be sent to notify you, but you will NOT receive an invoice.
  • Invoices may be paid directly via PayPal. Please email me if you need to make other arrangements. Please note that your spot is not reserved until full payment has been received.
  • Refunds will only be offered if registration is cancelled two weeks prior to the start day of class/session. Partial refunds not available if part(s) of a class are missed by the student. If for any reason I have to cancel, a full refund, or prorated refund for any classes not held, will be issued!

Please contact me at mamaandlittlee@gmail.com with any further questions. I am looking forward to creating with you children!

Summer Session 1 – Full Day Art & Play!  

  • Dates – June 26-30
  • Time – 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
  • Session size limit – 4 ; no age limit
  • Price – $175/child ($150 each if registering 2 or more children)
  • A full week of imaginative play, costume making, art creating, picnic lunches, and plenty of sunshine!

Self Care Sewing Session 1 – Knit Tunic Top

  • Dates – June 26, 27, & 28
  • Time – 7 pm – 9 pm
  • Session size limit – 2
  • Price – $85 – includes all materials to make your own tunic top!

Pizza & Paint Sessions

  • Dates – Select One – July 8, July 15, July 22, July 29
  • Time – 5 pm – 10 pm (perfect for a date night for mom & dad!)
  • Session size limit – 6 per session
  • Price – $35/child ($25 each if registering 2 or more children)
  • Children will complete a guided canvas painting of their choosing, and enjoy topping their own pizzas! May sign up for more than one session. If possible, please email me ahead of time with what your child would like to paint so that canvases can be prepped. We will not be using washable paint; old clothes are recommended.

Summer Session 2 & 3 – Art Camp!

  • Dates – July 10-14
  • Session 2 time: 9 am -12 pm / Session 3 time: 1 pm – 4pm
  • Session size limit – 8 per session; ages 4+
  • Price – $95/child ($80 each if registering 2 or more children)
  • We will create wonderful pieces of fun (and some functional!) pieces of art, including items like recycled jewelry, stuffed animals, wall hangings, papier mache, vases, and more! No outside materials needed. May bring a water bottle if desired. We will be using materials that may stain clothing; old clothing is recommended.

Self Care Sewing Session 2 – Leggings! 

  • Dates – July 10 & 11
  • Time – 7 pm – 9 pm
  • Session size limit – 2
  • Price – $45 – includes all materials to make your own leggings! (or, $65 for 2 pairs)

Summer Sessions 4 & 5 – Art Camp! 

  • Dates – July 17-21
  • Session 4 time: 9 am -12 pm / Session 5 time: 1 pm – 4pm
  • Session size limit – 8 per session; ages 4+
  • Price – $95/child ($80 each if registering 2 or more children)
  • We will create wonderful pieces of fun (and some functional!) pieces of art, including items like recycled jewelry, stuffed animals, wall hangings, papier mache, vases, and more! No outside materials needed. May bring a water bottle if desired. We will be using materials that may stain clothing; old clothing is recommended.

Self Care Sewing Session 3 – Knit Dress With POCKETS! 🙂 

  • Dates – July 17, 18, & 19
  • Time – 7 pm – 9 pm
  • Session size limit – 2
  • Price – $85 for Maxi length; $75 for hi-low or regular length – includes all materials to create a beautiful, personalized dress!

 

 

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DIY Pendant Lamp (also: I Have a Target Problem) 

Some of my favorite DIY projects are easy, cheap, and appall my husband.

Several months ago, I was in Target buying dog food. I repeated to myself, “I am only here for dog food. I will not look at throw pillows. I will not look at throw pillows.” Well, in order to get to the dog food aisle, I had to go through home goods (that is a lie). I granted myself permission to take a tiny peek at the home goods clearance section, just in case. It is so fortunate that I checked, because there were two lamps that were PERFECT for the comforter and accent tables I bought the last time I was in Target buying ONLY LAUNDRY DETERGENT AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE.

I brought the lamps home, and they were indeed perfect with the comforter and accent tables.

Shortly after welcoming the lamp pair to their new home, my husband knocked one of them off while trying to hit the snooze button for the 100th time (I’m not judging, I do it too). The spider fitter on the inside of the shade was busted, but the lamp itself was still intact so I left it alone. A couple months later, one of our dogs (Violet Banana) chewed through the cord of the second lamp.

Well, now I was down one lamp shade, and one lamp base. I combined the functional base and shade, and moved it to the guest room (meaning of course I would need to get new bedding since the lamp didn’t match, but I’ll save that for another day). I found two luscious gold lamps at Hobby Lobby for 40% off later that week, but I couldn’t bring myself to toss the fitter-less shade just yet.

After hanging on to it for weeks, I wondered if I could somehow rig it as a drum/pendant style lamp for one of the hanging lights in our kitchen. I wasn’t quite ready to tackle any actual electrical work, which ruled out the fixture above our breakfast table. I was at an unnamed hardware store buying some other things anyway, so I walked through the lighting aisles looking for a replacement spider fitter. I figured I could unscrew the existing light fixture, slide the shade with new fitter on, and then reattach everything. The associate working just stared at me like I’d lost my mind when I asked him if they carried anything like that; he said he’d never heard them called that before, but I am 96% sure that’s what they’re called.

Anyway, after I described it, he said I’d probably have to go to a specialty lighting store to find something like that. I asked if they had any thin rigid metal pieces that I could use to make something. And at that point, he for sure thought I was crazy. I decided I could probably find something online. Before I started poking around on the internet, I rummaged through Chris’ stuff in our garage, and all of my craft stuff. The last place I looked was in the kitchen, where I found a drawer full of metal kabob skewers.

I placed one across the middle of the lampshade and it just happened to be the exact length I needed. Before I placed any of the rest, I put it over the existing fixture. I put the 2nd skewer perpendicular to the 1st, and then put the 3rd and 4th parallel to the 1st and 2nd, but on opposite sides of the existing fixture in order to secure it.


No glue, no hardware, no electrical work.

I love the way it turned out, and I love the little splash of pattern it adds to the kitchen area. I do often wonder what the hardware store associate would say if I told him I used 4 kabob skewers in lieu of a spider fitter. 🙂

To get the look:

Ring-tip metal kabob skewers

Ikat lamp shade
You could also just wait for a dog and/or husband to break an existing lamp, which is a strategy that works great at our house!

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Bee’s Room

If I’m being honest, one of the reasons I was so excited about having a baby girl was designing a baby girl nursery (also in my top five list of reasons were baby headbands and ruffly baby clothes). Her room was truly a labor of love, and is my favorite room in our house.

We moved into our new house in June/July 2015. Her due date wasn’t until the end of September, but I knew I wouldn’t make it that far, so we didn’t bother painting. In a perfect world, I would have torn up the carpet and replaced it with hardwood floors, and the walls would have been painted a warm gray; those may both still happen in the future, but it wasn’t realistic to try to do either before she arrived.


The first purchase I settled on was the fabric for her bedding. I didn’t originally know what her bedding was going to look like, but I liked the pinks and grays in the floral fabric, and the subtlety of the gold polka dots in the other fabric. I ended up making a ruffled crib skirt using this tutorial, and a crib sheet using  this tutorial.

I had planned to be thrifty and just reuse our dark brown crib that we had from when E was a baby, but that crib just didn’t do the ruffles justice. I asked Chris if he thought it was ridiculous to buy a new crib, and he said it was less ridiculous to buy another crib than to listen to me talk about buying a new crib for months on end. So, I found one on Amazon for around $100, sold our old one for $50, and called it a win!

I bought extra fabric to use in other areas of her room, so after the bedding was finished I used the leftover floral fabric to whip up a changing pad cover, a pillow case, and a little dress for this felt cat from Makenzie’s Playhouse on Etsy. 

The leftover polka dot fabric was used to make basket liners. I bought 6 yellow baskets at a yard sale, spray painted them pink, and then made liners for them using a tutorial similar to this one.

The next two things to land in her room were the lamps on either side. Those lamps have traveled between several rooms in our various houses. They used to be paper lantern lamps, but one had an accident with a ceiling fan during one of our moves, and the other one had an unfortunate bath in Scentsy wax. Oops. Thanks to two rolls of wax paper that I scored for 67 cents each, my sewing machine, and an iron, I was able to save the two lamps. I cut out circles of wax paper, ironed two wax paper circles together, and then stitched the ironed circles into chains long enough to cover the light bulbs. There was a metal ring at the top of each lamp, so I left enough thread at the end of each chain to tie it on to the metal ring.It took forever to finish both lamps, but for $1.34, I won’t complain too much.


Another repurposed item was the shelf/bench next to the rocking chair. It was originally a storage ottoman, but one of our dogs put a hole in the top. I removed the lid, turned the ottoman on its side, and lined the inside with the same polka dot fabric that I used for her crib bedding. I would take a close up, but you don’t want to see the hot glue job I did!!

Once the bigger things had been tackled, I started all of the little crafty projects.
I found mismatched letters for a few dollars at Hobby Lobby, wrapped them with yarn in various shades of gray (not 50) that I already had, and made small felt flowers to glue on as accents.


I rounded up about a dozen frames that we’ve had for several years and spray painted them gray so they would fit together. The “wall art” on the wall above her crib is still a work in progress – right now it is a mishmash of scrapbook paper, fabric, a few prints that I designed (including this fun unicorn),

and some baby pictures of her.
For her surplus of scrumptious baby headbands, I disassembled a wall hanging I’ve had for probably 10 years. I replaced the picture with a fabric wrapped board, attached two rows of ribbon to the board, glued the board back in to the frame, and then glued pink craft clothes pins along both ribbons.

For months I scoured the internet for the perfect paper lanterns to make a poofy lantern display hanging somewhere from her ceiling, but I ended up making most of those too. The solid pink and the pink polka dot lanterns were a few dollars each at Target. The flowery poofs were all made with tissue paper and florist wire. The large white and gold poof was made using this tutorial, but with tissue paper instead of fabric. It took me at least 1000 years and a ton of glue sticks, which is why there is only one of those. 🙂 The others were a very simple tissue paper Pom Pom poof.

Chris was my official nursery handy man. My first plan was to go curb shopping for a dresser to repurpose into a changing table/baby dresser, but Chris was worried about lead paint and other issues that come with redesigning old furniture. Instead, I found a picture of a dresser that I liked and he designed and built a dresser based on that. One day, I’ll make him write a post about his  DIY dresser. I also wanted rain gutter book shelves, but Chris was afraid we’d have a maniac baby that would pull the gutters down and cut herself on an edge. Now that we’ve met our maniac baby, he’s probably right! Anyway, he styled shelves out of wood to mimic the look of rain gutters so that we’d both be happy and maniac baby would stay safe. Finally, he built a ledge shelf for me to display her yarn letters.

Here’s a list of where I found some of the goods in her nursery. If you have questions about something specific, feel free to ask!

  • Curtains – Dollar General
  • Chair – $60ish from Amazon
  • Crib – $144 on Amazon
  • Crib bumper – $22 on Amazon
  • Changing pad – $23 from Amazon
  • Floral throw pillow & gold unicorn lamp -Pillowfort by Target
  • Polka dot bins – Hobby Lobby
  • Gray/Pink/orange felt Pom poms – American Felt Company
  • Pink dresser drawer knobs – Hobby Lobby
  • Rug – Marshalls

One day, all the rooms in our house will be finished. Just in time for me to start tearing up all the carpet upstairs!! 🙂

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“Come on, sidekick!”

After sharing E’s Halloween costumes from the last few years, it seemed natural to share the kids’ costumes for this year. I finished them about 3 minutes before they needed to wear them to a costume birthday party.

Hands down, these were the easiest costumes I’ve made. Not the cheapest, but most of the pieces I bought will be worn beyond Halloween.

Several items were things we already had at the house:

  • Solid long sleeve shirt for E – this one was from Old Navy several seasons ago;I’ll buy anything for $1.47!
  • Felt scraps – black, green, yellow
  • Knit fabric – I happened to have about a yard of yellow knit fabric, so I used a small piece of that for Bee’s cape
  • Batman mask – no idea where it came from or how long we’ve had it
  • Elastic for Bee’s mask

A few other pieces came from Amazon:

E’s pants were a pair of sweatpants from the Cat & Jack line at Target. He was originally going to be all black, but then he wanted to be blue and gray, and then settled on gray and black. So many decisions.

And finally, I did have to grab a few things from Hobby Lobby:

  • Green fabric for Bee’s arm bands and mask – 1/4 yd
  • Black fabric for E’s cape – 1 yd
  • Velcro


This is Chris’ favorite part of my costume adventures, where I basically start with a pile of random scraps of nothing. Just kidding. He hates this part. I free-hand cut a Bat symbol and oval out of felt, but you could also print and trace, or use other materials. I vetoed heat transfer vinyl, because a) I already had the right color felt and b) felt is significantly cheaper, but it would have worked just as well.


After I cut out the pieces for E’s shirt, I pinned them and started stitching. You could also use fabric glue, or heat n bond.


I set E’s shirt to the side, and cut out the pieces for Bee’s romper. Again, I cut the logo and the yellow rectangles (I don’t even know what those are – are they supposed to be buttons?!) free-hand out of felt.


I figured Bee wouldn’t keep a cape on, so I stitched a piece of yellow knit fabric to the back of her romper. Since I used knit, I didn’t both to finish any edges.


I set both shirts to the side, and started working on “accessories”.

I was doing a pretty good job taking pictures along the way, until we got to Saturday afternoon, and I had to finish all the remaining pieces before the costume party. Oops!

Anyway, E’s utility belt was a simple strip of black felt with a couple black “pockets” that I made out of felt as well. I stitched on a small loop on the back of each pocket, and then slid them on to the belt. I didn’t use any specific pattern for his cape, but there’s a great tutorial here if you need one!


The last thing I made for Batman was the felt cuffs. I made them the width of his shirt sleeves so that he could wear them over his shirt without me having to attach them. Because felt is fairly stiff, they stayed up just fine the whole time he was Batmanning at the costume party.


Bee’s mask and arm bands were the last things to be finished. Her mask is felt on one side, and the awful-to-sew green sequin fabric on the other. I stitched around the outside of the mask, and the edges of the eyeholes, but I didn’t worry about finishing any edges (I’m glad, since she wouldn’t even keep the mask on anyway!). There are tons of templates for face masks available online, but I recommend checking the eyeholes against the actual child’s eyes before you cut anything!

Finally, I cut two rectangles, long enough to go around her wrists, out of the sequin fabric. I lined them with felt, and then stitched Velcro to each end.

E was so excited to spend all day fighting crime with his tiny sidekick! And by fighting crime, I mean terrorizing the dogs and watching YouTube videos about magic eggs.





Happy Halloween!

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“Are you seriously making that costume out of cardboard?” 

Halloween costumes have become a pretty big deal around here. E has always loved dressing up, and I’d be lying if I said I had nothing to do with that. For example, for his first Halloween, I dressed him up as a pirate during his nap. 

I don’t know what happened to my mom-motivation the following Halloween, but I do know I bought his costume for 40% off, mere hours before trick or treating began. He was just over a year, so he really didn’t mind. He actually probably preferred that to being dressed up as a pirate in his sleep, but anyway. 

Right after E turned 2, he became obsessed with Disney’s Cars characters. I told Chris I was going to make him a Mater (the tow truck) costume. He responded, “are you seriously making that costume out of cardboard?” He was horrified. At that point, he severely underestimated my cardboard transformation abilities. I finished E’s costume the night before Halloween, because there’s nothing quite like last minute! 

Needless to say, Chris went back in to work the next day and retracted any and all statements about how trashy I was for making a Halloween costume out of cardboard for our son. 

In 2014, E decided he wanted us to dress up as the characters from Monsters, Inc. He suggested that the two of us go as Mike and Sully, and that Chris go as Mr. Waternoose. Sadly, Chris missed out because he was stuck at work. It was a blessing really, because I had no interest in making a Mr. Waternoose costume. 

For E’s Mike costume, I used a pair of lime green girl’s leggings, a random blue hat that I loosely stitched the Monsters University logo and felt horns onto, and a pair of 99 cent fuzzy gloves. For his shirt, I stitched together a long sleeve and a short sleeve shirt at the waist and arm/neck holes, and filled the space between the two shirts with stuffing to give him a rounder look. I cut the face pieces out of felt and stitched them on before layering the two shirts. My costume was a little easier –  I painted purple spots on the crazy blue furry fabric I found at Hancock Fabrics before our local one closed up shop. I never did get a good picture, but I stitched a tail and several felt “spikes” to the back of the costume. I attached felt horns to a headband, whipped up a simple pair of furry mittens, and then layered the costume over pieces I already had in my closet. 

Last Halloween, E decided he would be a transforming Bumblebee. Oh! Isn’t that nice! I scoured the internet for tips, ideas, ANYTHING. I sent Chris a picture of a pile of cardboard and told him I was at it again. This time he was not shocked, or appalled. I ordered the base costume and mask on Amazon, mostly in case I totally dropped the ball on the cardboard version. I also finished this costume the day of Halloween. His favorite part was the “headlights” because they really lit up, and the fact that it really could transform. 

After Halloween ended last year, E told me he’d like to go as a ghost the next time. I breathed a sigh of relief, until he changed his mind and made the announcement that he and his sister would go as Batman and Robin. He gave me the option of Poison Ivy or Penguin. Naturally, their costumes are not quite finished yet! 

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We’re Growing!

Well, sort of. Mr. Mama has been trying to get me to branch out into blogging and/or youtube tutorials for the last several years. I’m not quite ready to jump into the video tutorials, because, well, that requires doing my hair and wearing regular pants.

In the mean time, I’m excited to grow mama & little e by adding a blog! I can’t wait to share our latest projects with you all.

You can also check us out on Facebook and Instagram at: mamaandlittlee