Just Like Goober

A working suburban mom, a curious baby boy, and a whole lotta life

Saturday Sentiment- Santa Claus Edition December 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 8:00 am
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My oh my, how things have changed!

 

2010

 

2011

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Ruffled Christmas Tree Slipcover December 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 1:04 pm
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Two craft posts in a row?? It’s like I have my act together or something. Crazy!

So when I first saw Linda’s Ruffle Christmas Trees, I knew I had to make them. They’re just so cute and fun. However I didn’t have a sewing machine, so these little beauties ended up being the final straw on the camel’s back. I had some Amazon gift cards I was saving for a Kindle Fire (which I still covet), but I decided I wanted a sewing machine more, so I cashed those puppies in for my lovely little Brother. While I was on Amazon, I decided that my life would be more complete with a ruffler, such as is suggested for the Ruffle Trees, so I threw that into my cart as well.

Step 1: Acquire sewing machine and ruffler foot. CHECK!

MAH PRECIOUS (channeling Gollum) new toys arrived within two days(!) but as I mentioned before, I had this little paper due that encompassed my entire grade for the class, so they sat alone in the basement, in their boxes for almost a week. While biding my time, I did read the entire sewing machine manual online in between paper research stints. Once I was able to break it open, it didn’t take me too long to get everything hooked up, threaded, and running. After making my felt bow, I felt I was ready to take on THE RUFFLER (spoken like a WWF announcer). Because I’m broke frugal, I bought the generic ruffler foot, which didn’t come with very clear instructions. A little Googling led me to this tutorial which I found very helpful and after a little more confusion (i.e., the fabric doesn’t actually work in the configuration that the ruffler box suggests) and a little trial and error, I soon had a lovely little ruffle.

 

Step 2: Create a ruffle. CHECK!

(it just occurred to me that I didn’t document the whole fabric cutting/piecing/ruffling process. Whoops. Just head over to Linda’s page, she shows it all, and with much better lighting.)

(also, since I keep calling her Linda, rather than Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous, it’s starting to sound like we’re besties or something. I should clarify, she has no idea who I am, except maybe that chick who keeps appearing on her Link Backs list. However, I would totally get a margarita with her if she were nearby and so inclined. She seems kinda awesome!)

Because I tend to jump the gun, I made my ruffle before I even had a tree to attach it to. Linda used a paper mache cone to create her ruffle trees, and after I read that they’re less expensive than the styrofoam, I was bound and determined to use those as well. Me=disappointed. Apparently they are NOT SOLD in St. Louis. Or at least anywhere I went: Michael’s, Joanne’s, Hobby Lobby. All failures. Rather than buying another styrofoam cone, I decided I would reuse the cones that I used for my Halloween Witch Hats. I made those following Cheryl’s instructions, which allowed for cone reuse. Using that same train of thought, I decided that I’d like to make a ruffle tree slipcover. Not only would I get to use my cones for future projects (remember, I’m broke frugal!), but when I pack them up after Christmas, they will take up no space at all.

Step 3: Find a cone. CHECK!

I will warn you, I have no idea how to make a ruffled slip cover. Here is my half baked method as it currently stands, which is partial at best.

Materials:
-White handkerchief

-Rotary cutter or scissors

-Pins

-Sewing machine or a willingness to sew by hand

-Previously created fabric ruffle of appropriate length

I started by rolling my cone in the handkerchief and then tracing around the cone. Not the most sophisticated way to measure, but it didn’t require math. Make sure you leave a decent length allowance along the cone for future pinning and sewing

Hey look! A non-phone picture! How refreshing!

Roll your cone back up in your fabric (wrong side out) and pin along the length of the cone. You want to make sure the fabric is snug enough to create a smooth slipcover, but loose enough that you’ll be able to get it on and off. Also, standard floral cones don’t come to a point. If you want a point on your tree (I did), you will either have to fashion some sort of tree-point-prosthesis (I’m open to suggestions if you have any!) or wing it when it comes to sewing the point of the fabric.

 

Pull the slip cover off of the cone and sew along your seam.

Cut off any excess fabric beyond your seam, then turn your slipcover right side out.

Here is where I am stuck. I haven’t figured out how to permanently attach the ruffle to the slipcover. I thought about hot glue, but I feel like that’s not as secure as sewing. I’m not sure how to sew the ruffle onto a cone. I don’t really want to do it by hand, but I might have to. The following steps are how I’ve rigged this up for now.

Take the ruffle and wrap it around the cone, overlapping the previous ruffle row just slightly. On the bottom row, I stuck a straight pin at the place where the ribbon first winds back to itself, just to stabilize the bottom row.

Continue wrapping and overlapping, adjusting for the look you want. 3/4 of the way up my cone, I ran out of ruffle and had to whip up an additional length of it. Where the two disconnected ruffles meet, I put another straight pin. Even if the ruffle was long enough, it might not be a bad idea to add some additional pins for additional ruffle stabilization.

Continue wrapping all the way up the cone. Since I haven’t found a suitable object to supplement the cone point on the styrofoam, I had to work with an empty point on my slipcover. For me, I just wound the ruffle around the slipcover, trying to avoid caving it in, and then pinned the ruffle to the slipcover to keep it from unwinding.

Step 4: Create a Ruffle Tree. CHECK!

You can’t really see the pins, but you can see the wonkiness that is the tree tip. I would love some suggestions from you guys on what to use as a cone point and also on how to permanently sew my ruffle onto my slipcover. I don’t want to have to re-wind the ruffle each Christmas!

Even with all the issues, I still really love this project. I love the ruffles, I love the fabric, I love everything about it. Now it’s starting to feel like Christmas!

Linking Up Here

 

Thinking Ahead October 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 12:22 pm
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Disclaimer: I am being offered 25 free cards to tell you what I think about Shutterfly’s 2011 Christmas Card Collection. I am not being given any real money and my opinions are completely my own.

It’s getting to be that time again. The time where I have to start thinking about Christmas Cards. I know, I know, I’ve told you before that I’m very opposed to thinking about holidays too soon. Generally I don’t want to even consider Christmas until I’m eating leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches. I’ve figured out, however, that if I want them to look a certain way, then I need to get on the ball way before Thanksgiving. While I don’t like to think about Christmas until Black Friday, once it’s Christmas in my head, it needs to be Christmas EVERYWHERE. Including your house. That means my I like my Christmas cards to go out by the first week of December if possible.

Let’s do some postal math: If Mary wants to send her Christmas cards out by, say, December 7, that means they need to be stuffed and stamped by December 6. Stuffing and addressing takes approximately 2 hours of good television or 1 hour of what-is-this-crap television. Figure in a good 1-2 weeks of cheapest possible shipping from Shutterfly (where we get our photo cards). That brings us to mid Novemberish? Then we consider a week of debating over card layouts, wording, and mind changing. So that’s early-mid November. Plus, if we get professional photos taken, at least a week or two to wait for the edited images. [sidenote: I do not get professional photos taken just for a Christmas card. However, I skipped getting good 1 year photos taken of Goober and he hasn’t had anything done since the end of March. So it’s either combine them now Christmas card pics and skip 18 month photos, or do a half-ass Christmas card pic and get 18 month photos done for Christmas presents…the jury is still out] So now we’re around Halloween? Plus time for setting up the photo appointment, and holy shit, I’m already running late!

Luckily, I can probably eliminate that week of debating over card layouts by just getting on there now! Shutterfly has already posted their Christmas card layouts for 2011, so I can obsess now while waiting the week or two it’s going to take to get into the photographer. Then once I hound her for the images, I can just plug and chug!

Here is what ours looked like last year

I know, so cute right? I got SO MANY complements from people on that card. I mean, people called me to just to tell me how much they loved my Christmas card! Now I have to top that this year, because isn’t that what it’s all about? Beating yourself year after year? No, just me? Anyway…here’s a few card styles that I’m liking.

First of all, I’m probably only going to show flat photo card type cards. As in, not a folded card. Last year I sent out close to 75 of these babies and I will not being writing in those by hand. No. So let it all just be printed on the front, thank you very much.

I like this one because it’s a little whimsical. I also like cards that aren’t so very CHRISTMAS JESUS in your face. Although I don’t think that we have many non-Christmas celebrating folks, I still like to be all encompassing. It’s my diversity wishful thinking.

How fun is that? I love the wording on this. I don’t like having a single picture though, it’s too hard to pick just one. If we go with the me trying to get a picture of Goober option though, this might be good because more than likely I’ll be lucky if I can get one good one.

Oh man, this might be it. I LOVE THIS. But then, I also am weird about Hubby and I not being in the picture. Goober isn’t the only family member! But this is so cute…Grrr.

You might notice that all of these are the premium photo paper cards. Kinda pricey if you have to buy more than 20 or so. Well, I’m getting 25 free, so that’s why I’m looking here. But if I wasn’t, I’d be over on the photo paper cards, where the price point is much more budget friendly. They are still super cute, it’s just a different type of paper.

See. Super cute + affordable!

Also, did you know they do Christmas party invitations? They do. Almost makes it worth the hassle of throwing a party. Almost.

Fun stuff. So there you go, some awesome card options from Shutterfly, plus a published reminder to myself to get on this already. If you like any in particular, let me know. I like to please the people. And if you want to tell me how adorable my kid/card was last year, you can tell me that too. I can’t hear it enough!