Archive | January, 2012

The Wedding Shower

31 Jan

After the fun we had at the jewelry party, it was time to focus on the shower.  We had a “Tea Party” theme.  The bride’s sister who lives thousands of miles away flew in the night before the shower.Everyone did their part to make things pretty.My  little sister did all of the names on doilies by hand.  It was a really elegant touch.My SIL used her handy-dandy cricut to cut out all those adorable boxes.  To make it even better, they were filled with chocolate covered macadamia nut clusters smothered in caramel.We played some games and ate.Look at all these hand-made prizes!  Lucky for us, even if we didn’t win, we still got a prize at the end.Fresh baked bread was filled with different sandwich fillings.  We had three “flavors” to choose from.  It was delish!This flavor of lemonade was new to all of us.  It was a big hit.Spinach salad and these cream filled strawberries on the side completed the meal.  It’s great having a pastry chef in the family!  She stuffed them with a mix of cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little vanilla.  They were topped with graham cracker crumbs.After we ate, it was time for gifts.  The bride received a beautiful heirloom pearl necklace from her sister who had been keeping it safe for 14 years since her own wedding!  It was a really sweet surprise.She also brought a gift from her son who used his own money to buy his favorite aunty some comfy PJs.We all chipped in while my SIL worked her magic and made this beautiful pearl set (She’s wearing all three pieces) for her.  I wish I had a link to her online store, but IT’S NOT UP YET!!!  (no pressure Ky…but HURRY UP!).My other sister found a great idea to make a basket of “Dates For A Year” since my brother and his bride lived in two separate countries and didn’t get to “go on dates” much.  We thought it was a good idea from the beginning, but seeing everyone fill it up was so fun and creative!  For January, they went box car racing.  Other dates they will have to look forward to are driving around the island sight seeing with gift cards to various stops around the island.  A day at the park with a frisbee and a Jamba Juice gift card.  A hammock to take to a beach park and hang out.A DVD for “The Bucket List” with a “worksheet” to fill out their own bucket list.An envelope with two five dollar bills.  They go to a mall or superstore and each spend five dollars on the other person that is an expression of love and creativity.  I wish I could remember them all.  She was really excited about it.  I think we all were!  My mom also gave her the beautiful simple frame.I almost forgot.  My oldest sister made these refreshing fruit popscicles.  She used an ice tray as a mold.  They look so pretty too!It was a super fun day with the most important women in our life.  We were so anxious for the big day!

That night, we packaged all this beautiful rock candy that my sister made to look like sea glass.  So cool!  Can’t wait for the wedding!!!

The Jewelry Party Before the Wedding

27 Jan

Yesterday, a few days ago, I mentioned a fabulous event at the bottom of this post.  The event I was referring to is my brother’s wedding.  It was full of fabulousness and beauty.  Almost a week before the wedding and the same day we got to meet his lovely bride for the first time, we had a “Jewelry Night” with all her new SIL’s and the older nieces.  I guess it can sort of be counted as her bachelorette party.It was a time to break her in to us.  Her new overwhelming family.It was also a time to make some bling for the wedding.My super talented SIL (gray shirt) who makes and sells jewelry set everything up and taught us how to make a few pieces.Other than the fact that the poor bride-to-be (red shirt) had major jet lag (we think she’s a trooper for coming anyway), it was a lot of fun.I didn’t get pics of all the finished pieces, darn it!  But here’s one I took on my phone (I really dislike blogging with iPhone pics) that I sent in a text message.Maybe my SIL is reading this post and has some pics she’ll shoot over to me 😛

In my next post, I’ll tell you all about the shower.  Here’s a sneak peak:

Be An Example

23 Jan

Back in December, my son was making an ipu in his class. An ipu has a variety of uses in old Hawai’i, but for my son’s class, it will be used as a hawaiian instrument. After they cleaned their gourds on the beach with sand, they cut them open and cleaned them out.Then, they made cording to use as a strap (pretend not to notice the nails that need to be cut and cleaned).While my son’s class was working on this, I was moving from in and out of the classroom depending on the “station” that I needed to be at. My two youngest were moving with me. Without any instruction, my daughter sat down, grabbed a piece of my son’s cording and attempted to make her own.This was a powerful reminder for me about how we teach our children. It really doesn’t matter what we say. At the end of the day, how they really learn is by watching what we do.

And with that, check back tomorrow…I can’t wait to share a few posts relating to this fabulous event we had this past Friday!

Gifts I Made This Past Christmas: Wooden Toy Airplane

12 Jan

My son asked for a wooden airplane.  I imagined a simple, sturdy, old style airplane. One that my grandpa Jesse might have made if he were alive.  Something like this:But then my wonderful hubby intervened made some suggestions and this is what we ended up with.I cut out all of the wood on my “I can’t believe it’s still alive” table saw.  The “safety” key does nothing.  The only way to start it up is to plug it in.  The only way to turn off the blade is to un-plug it.  Anyway, I was impressed with the tiny pieces I was able to cut without losing my finger.  All of the pieces were scraps I had lying around.He is happy and it was handmade with love, so even though it wasn’t the airplane I imagined, he loved it.It’s still lacking a paint job.  We just primed it so that he could decide how he wanted it painted.

Fully Potty Trained!!!

11 Jan

Yay!  Today was a celebration.My youngest went to bed with “big girl panties” and woke up dry!!!  I consider my kids fully potty trained when a) They can tell me when they have to go 2) we can go places without a diaper AND 3) sleep through the night without a diaper and wake up dry.

She graduated to an advanced degree in potty training as she also did TWO public restrooms in two days…yuck!!!  And here she is all cocky and proud of herself.It was fun looking through coupons tonight and seeing $1.00 off of Pampers and wanting to “clip it,” and then remembering that I didn’t have too!!!  Yay!!!

Gifts I Made This Past Christmas: Toddler Backpack

6 Jan

Here, another pattern I bought a LONG time ago, but never made.  Finally, I had a need!  With so many people in our family, we pick names for Christmas.  I was so excited that I got a little girl!  My niece who is almost two.  So, I put that great pattern to use.  Thanks to Pinterest, I made the applique piece based off of an item that her Mommy pinned.  Here’s backpack number one.And for the back…Being the non-tv family that we’ve been for seven years now, Netflix has really compromised the rules in our home.  It’s been pretty bad.  My youngest has become obsessed with Dora the Explorer.  I hate to admit it, but if it wasn’t for Dora and Netflix, I wouldn’t have finished most of my projects this past Christmas.

With the exception of the gift from Santa, I decided to go hand-made on my gifts to the kids this year.  Partly for fun and partly to save money.  It was lots of fun.  I think it will be a tradition.

Since we now have a Dora obsession in our home, it was almost too perfect that Dora’s main accessory is, “Backpack! Backpack!”  So, My youngest got “Backpack!” for Christmas.  Thankfully, she loves it at least as much as I’d hoped.  She takes it everywhere and even woke up two mornings shouting, “Where’s Backpack?!”  Here’s Backpack! (You have to use “!” because my sister-in-law pointed out to me that Dora “yells at you.”  I can’t listen to Dora anymore without feeling like she’s yelling at me.)I have to say, it was maybe the most fun project that I did.  And since it was my second run on this pattern in a week, it went really quickly.  Thank goodness because I finished it at about 3am on 12/25!  (Later I’ll post what I was doing from 3am to 4am).   I found the best face for Backpack that I could off of an image search and just used my light table to create the applique pieces.Did I mention that I absolutely loved this pattern?  It was the first time I’ve ever used piping and now I want to put it on everything!!  I purchased this pattern from Made-by-Rae.  Click HERE for a link to her pattern.  She also created the free pattern to the purse I talked about in this post.

***Note about the pattern: It calls for canvas or a sturdy home decor fabric.  I ended up using cotton, so I actually lined everything because I wanted it to be sturdy.  I had a layer of fusible fleece and fusible webbing on the back of the fleece to attach the front and back piece.  I do NOT recommend doing it this way if you can help it.  It’s a LOT more work.  But, if you have to make a purple backpack, sometimes you have to go standard cotton!

Gifts I Made This Past Christmas: Baby Ugg Boots

4 Jan

Technically, this is not a Christmas gift, but rather a baby shower gift.  I’ve been wanting to make these for a while now but never made time for it.A baby shower gift for a baby girl whose mom is from Hawai’i, but will be born in freezing cold Germany!
There’s not much to say about this except that this is one of my favorite patterns.

It was really easy and I thought they turned out darn cute.  I’m hoping to make some for my 2 year old soon.  I’ll have to alter the pattern a bit to make it bigger, but I don’t think it will be too hard.

I like them best tall like this.  Don’t they look cozy?  Especially in this freezing Hawai’i weather we’ve been having!

I purchased the pattern from Sweet Pea Patterns on Etsy.

**Update: Sweet Pea Patterns just informed me that you can also purchase the toddler version of her pattern!