Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good News for Peeps Lovers...

I'm almost finished with my marshmallow chick tutorial! FINALLY. This one really kicked my butt... I am still a novice sewer, after all. Anyway, I hope to have the pattern up by Friday or Saturday... I was supposed to have a lot of time to work on it tonight, but that plan was foiled. So check back soon for another dose of cuteness!

Here's a teaser:



In the meantime, please take my marshmallow peep survey in the right hand column. ->

Thank you again for all the enthusiam about my marshmallow bunny tutorial. It's been so much fun and I'm still looking forward to seeing more of the bunnies that you guys have made (add them to the Dandelions & Lace Flickr Group). I have to brag a little... Kristi Yamaguchi tweeted about my peeps yesterday. Kristi Yamaguchi!!! She was one of my idols as a little girl... the best part of the Olympics. Wow, still in shock... good shock. :)

P.S. I met Yo-Yo Ma tonight (not peep-related, but still cool!)... actually shook his hand. I'm starstruck.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Fun Vintage/Crafty Read

My husband and I went shopping at Half Price Books this weekend (love that place!) and I found something so great that I just had to share!

It's called "The Apron Book" by EllynAnne Geisel and it is so fun! I've seen it in regular bookstores before, but I rarely buy books at full price so I was so excited to see it turn up at Half Price Books... and in like-new condition!

The Apron Book

The book is full of memories, stories, old photos, recipes, tips and most importantly, pictures of tons of lovely vintage aprons. Now, a year ago I might not have looked twice at this book, but my new-found love of fabric and sewing has prevailed and this along with my love of vintage and history made this book impossible to resist.

The Apron Book

There are even patterns for sewing three different styles of aprons - and the patterns in the envelope in the back of the book have not even been opened! I can't believe someone could buy this and then sell it at Half Price Books. Must have been an unwanted gift... well, it's wanted now!

The Apron Book

I've only read a couple pages, but this book is so lovely... can't wait to read more! Be sure to check it out!

The Apron Book

Hope everyone is having a nice Monday :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Max-A-Million

Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole week since I last posted... I guess nothing very interesting has happened in my life lately!

I received a note via Facebook a couple days ago that I'd like to share with you. The note told the story of Max Low, from my homestate of Iowa, a 12-year-old who has been battling leukemia for the last 6 years. Things have gotten pretty bad... and he's now waiting for a bone marrow transplant which could be his last chance at recovery. His wish is to receive 1 million cards. That's a lot of cards, but he has already received thousands from around the world. I am mailing him a card tomorrow from my husband and I... and I do hope it will make him smile. I would love it if all of you could take the time to send a card or letter, encouraging this sweet little boy to keep his head up and to keep fighting. If you have kids, have them each send a note or a picture to Max. If you are a teacher, this could be a class project. The more cards the better! Remember, it only costs 44 cents to mail a letter... such a little amount, for such a lot of happiness.



If you decide to send a letter to Max, here is his address:
    
     Mighty Max Low
     P.O. Box 111
     Neola, Iowa 51559

Thank you all! You guys are awesome... thank you for making a difference!!!

To read more about Max, here is an article that ran in the Des Moines Register: 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bluebonnet Fever

In honor of the first day of Spring (yes, that was today!) I wanted to share some pictures of the iconic Texas Bluebonnet. I found these growing across the street in a little park! Just a few, but enough to make me smile. The first Bluebonnets I've seen since moving to Texas!

I'm hoping to see a lot more of these beauties in the weeks to come!

Texas Bluebonnet

Texas Bluebonnet

Hope everybody else had a great first day of Spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I like buttons...

...kind of a lot.

I don't think I've yet shared with you my obsession with buttons. Yes, I am a button collector. I got into button collecting rather recently, when I realized for the first time that old buttons are really so much cooler than new ones. When I was younger I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to collect buttons; today I am happy to admit that I am that person.

Anyway, today I attended a button show. And it made me so happy!

pearl buttons

When I discovered that the Texas State Button Society Show was this weekend and not too far away, I just knew that I had to attend. I've been babbling on and on to my husband about it for weeks. The first thing he said was... "You know everyone there is going to be about 40 years older than you, don't you?" My reply: "Now honestly, would that stop you from attending an antique scooter convention, or an antique advertising show, or an antique tin collector's meeting?" "Well, no." Case closed.

So, this morning the two of us headed up to the button show. As we turned into the parking lot of the hotel that hosted the show, the first thing we saw was a cute little old lady in a wheelchair, clutching her copy of a "Button Price Guide". Hubby just looked over at me and said "I told you so!" I just laughed.

assorted vintage buttons

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take photos. Maybe I could have, but even though I brought my camera, it just didn't seem right. Imagine a hotel ballroom filled with tables... each table filled with card after card of the most beautiful buttons imaginable... all for sale. Yes, it was heaven.

I came with a list of specific buttons I was searching for to complete a couple sets I have started. And I'm excited to tell you that I did complete one set... and started a whole bunch more. The funniest thing was that hubby really got into it. He probably wouldn't admit it now, but he was pawing through those buttons like the best of them... I even had to spend some of my button budget on buttons for him (car and transportation-related buttons, no less). But it was totally worth it... it made me smile from ear to ear to see him in there... getting excited about buttons... along with me and all the little old ladies*.

Sometime, maybe I'll show you some of the buttons I bought. :)

*disclosure: Not everyone at the show was a little old lady (and I certainly have nothing against little old ladies... in fact, I love them!), but we were the youngest people there by a long shot.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I was featured!!!

My Marshmallow Bunny Plushie Tutorial was featured on the Ucreate blog today! I submitted it on a whim and got a reply email saying that it was accepted and would be put up immediately. I have gotten soooo many visits today from my feature and I am just so excited to see all the new little bunnies that get created from my pattern! This has been so much fun. Thank you Kari!! And a big welcome to all my visitors from Ucreate! I can't wait to offer more tutorials like this in the future!

I was featured on Ucreate!

U Create

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Estate Sale Finds

Hi everybody! Just wanted to drop by and show you a couple treasures I picked up at an estate sale yesterday.

First, is a slide sorter... It's basically a lightbox, so I'm thinking that it should work perfectly for projects that require tracing. I'm hoping this will be a useful purchase! It works great and it's basically like brand new. Even the box is perfect! Actually my husband found this for me (amazing, because in almost the same sentence he was telling me how he didn't want to come... didn't want to be there.. boo hoo hoo.)

vintage slide sorter lightbox

Second is some lovely ribbon, never used, price tag never even removed. I got a deal on this... I spent less to buy it than the original purchase price. Whoo hoo!

vintage blue ribbon

Well, that was all for this time. I hope to make visiting estate sales more of a habit of mine... but I'm of mixed feelings about whether or not to bring my hubby along next time!

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Marshmallow Bunny Plushies

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

And now for something fun that I've been working on...

Whether you love or detest marshmallow peeps (I'm a 'love', if you didn't guess!), you'll adore this project. Simple to make, contains no calories and perfect for a lucky child's Easter basket... or just to brighten up your home!

Marshmallow Bunny Plushies!

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

To make these little bundles of fun, click the button below to print the pattern and then continue underneath for a detailed photo tutorial. [I have attached the pattern as a Google Drive file; if this causes anyone problems, please let me know and I will attempt to attach it as a plain old pdf. Thanks!]

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B45xctukFw0wVGJFUFVqVzV4V1E/edit?usp=sharing

You will need:
* less than 1/4 yard of fleece or felt (I used fleece because it is softer and fluffier, but felt would work fine as well)
* matching thread
* polyester stuffing
* dark brown embroidery floss for eyes and nose

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

Fold fabric in half and cut fabric as instructed on pattern. You will end up with 2 body pieces and one strip that is 23 inches long (be sure to place the pattern on the fold of the fabric). 

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

Hand embroider eyes and nose onto front side (the thicker, "fluffier" side of fleece is the front) of one of the body pieces. I did a satin stitch in a small circle for both the eyes and the nose. Don't know how to embroider? It's easy: How to make a satin stitch

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

Next, fold the long strip in half (right sides together) and sew the open side shut with a 1/4" seam, forming a loop.

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

Pin the loop all the way around the perimeter of the front body piece (right sides together) and sew together with a 1/4" seam. This is a little tricky, especially around the ears, but if you take your time (and use lots of pins, lol!) it's not so bad.

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

This is what your bunny should look like so far.

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

 Now, pin the back body piece facing down to other side of the loop (right sides together). It should look like a bunny-shaped ice cream sandwich.  Sew around the perimeter, with a 1/4" seam leaving about 3 inches open at the bottom for turning.

Flip the bunny right side out, stuff with polyester filling and hand sew the opening closed. Your bunny is done!

See! I told you it was so simple!

I even added a little extra sweetness to my bunnies' backsides:

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

(I did this before sewing the pieces together. I'm still working on my embroidery techniques, as I'm sure you can see, but I thought it was sweet anyway!)

Now go make your own!
I'd love to see how everyone else's bunnies turn out! If you decide to make one (or many!), please add your photos to the Dandelions & Lace Flicker Group! If you don't use Flickr and you decide to blog or post photos of your bunnies elsewhere, please leave me a comment with a link! Can't wait to see them!

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

marshmallow bunny plushie pattern and tutorial

Marshmallow chicks coming up next... hopefully soon! :)

UPDATE: I've heard from a couple of people who had questions about printing the pattern. You should be able to open the pattern by clicking the "CLICK HERE FOR PATTERN" button above. Once the pattern is open, click the PRINT button at the top left. Send me a note at dandelionsandlace@gmail.com if you have troubles!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feels Like Home

The house that my parents live in has been in my family for close to 90 years. My great-grandparents bought it in the mid 1920s, when my grandfather was just a boy. When he married my grandmother, they moved into the home as newlyweds and my dad was raised there along with his brothers and sister... with their grandmother (my great-grandmother) living upstairs. When my grandmother passed away, my family moved in. It was hard to move to a new town as an 8th grader, but I knew the house was special, and I felt lucky to live in the same house that my father and grandfather had grown up in.


This house holds so many memories. Four generations of my family has lived within its walls. My parents have found that this often makes it hard to make changes... even seemingly simple things like the linoleum kitchen floor, or the green paint on the basement stairs can be hard to part with, and many parts of the house have remained the same for decades.


Part outdated, a little bit worn, but always full of love. From the patriotic eagle wallpaper to the handwritten "call Dorthy Cook" note that has hung above the 1940s rotary phone from who knows how long (it's been there as long as I've been alive!), this house is special to me and it will always feel like home.


Please enjoy these beautiful photos that my sister Sarah took (I helped, but she has a fancier camera!). I hope these details will give you a small taste of this place we call home.
Sarah's Blog
Sarah's Etsy Shop

bicentennial wallpaper eagle americana

wooden shutters

old linoleum

piano keys

cabinet latch

pineapple wallpaper

old rug

doorknob

basement steps

call Dorthy Cook

old telephone

old telephone and note on wall

cabinet hinge

couch cushion americana

heating vent

old button light switch

cushion

kitchen spice drawers

pantry latch

antique kitchen lamp

drawer pull

home sweet home framed cross stitch