Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer bloomer production

I tend to sew Phoebe a lot more clothes in the summer than in the winter.  I think it's because these light, summery, cotton prints just scream sunshine and warm weather; whereas I associate thick, cozy knits with winter.  And since I don't knit, Phoebe's wardrobe tends to be a bit lacking in the cold weather clothes.

Bloomer's for Phoebe

Anyway, since we've been spending lots of outdoor time lately and making multiple trips to the kiddie pool in the backyard everyday, Phoebe hasn't been wearing much more than a diaper lately.  I thought I'd at least pretty it up a bit by throwing a pair of bloomers on top.

These were made with using the Ruby's Bloomers pattern from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing.  They come together so quickly and only use a half yard of fabric for each pair.  My only warning is that the sizing is terrible.  Phoebe is currently wearing a size 2T, and she fits perfectly into the 6-12 month size bloomers.  I actually made a pair back when she was only six months old and she was swimming in them.  At least they fit her great now - a year and a half later.  So as long as you keep that in mind, it's a great, quick sew!

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Heather Ross - eeks!

Is it a blessing or a curse to have the owner of Pink Castle Fabrics live right around the corner from me?

Far Far AwayIII

I ran right over soon as I got the text that Heather Ross' new line, Far Far Away III was in today.  Sadly, there's no way I can afford the entire line, but I picked out a couple of my favorites.   These pinks, yellows, peaches and browns are my current favorite color palette (and have been for the past two years if you take a look back on Phoebe's nursery).

I'm sure I'll have no shortage of projects in which to incorporate these beauties!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My absolute favorite cake recipe (at this moment in time)

Remember this cake?


This is the cake that disappeared the fastest from the dessert table at my sister's wedding.  Triple lemon blueberry.  Mmmmm.....


My husband missed out on this one at the wedding (not quick enough!), so he's been bugging me ever since to make another one.  He really had to twist my arm, of course.


I found this recipe a while back on Pinterest, and it was practically screaming my name.  I usually adjust a few things in most of the recipes that I use, but this one I found to be pretty much perfect.  My only changes are that I added an extra cup of blueberries, and I divided the batter between two 9" cake pans instead of three 8" pans.  Also, in addition to just the lemon curd, I put a thin layer of the Zesty Lemon frosting between the layers.


Finally, I also took the baker's advice and sandwiched a layer of vanilla cake between the two lemon blueberry layers.  I think it brings everything together perfectly.

Now wipe the drool off your face and get baking! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Turning the old into new

It has been so nice to jump back into quilting after being finished with all things wedding.  Especially when I'm sewing with one of my favorite things - vintage sheets!


It's funny how these old sheets can turn into the most beautiful baby quilts.  Reinventing themselves for a new generation. 

Vintage Sheet Baby Quilt

I'm not sure what this quilt pattern is called, but I fell in love after seeing it here.  I made my blocks much larger than hers, so the octagons ended up being 14 inches across.  After the entire top was sewn, that was just waaaay too much white space for my liking, so I machine appliqued some pinwheels in the centers using some leftover scraps from my Kona Challenge Quilt.  More details about that later next week.


The patchwork binding is also made of vintage sheets and the back is (what else!?) another vintage sheet.  Sorry for the wrinkly pictures - this was before I got it all washed and ready to ship out to a wonderful mommy-to-be.

I think if baby number two ends up being another girl, I'm going to do her whole room in vintage sheets.  How lovely would that be?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sheet swap and other news

So are you tired of wedding posts yet?  So am I.  Especially because in the middle of all this wedding prep, my husband and I found out that we are expecting our second baby!  This was a HUGE surprise to us since doctors gave us a less than 1% chance of ever getting pregnant on our own (Phoebe was conceived via IVF).

Thankfully I don't have any problems with morning sickness, however I have never been so tired in my life.  It's much more difficult this time around trying to keep up with a toddler when all I want to do is nap!  I'm still not quite sure how I cranked out all of that wedding stuff.  I keep hoping that my energy will return soon, but it never really did when I was pregnant with Phoebe, so I'm not holding my breath.


This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, and I'm just now heading into my second trimester.  Our new arrival can be expected at the end of 2011 or early 2012!


So anyway, back to fabric.  I recently participated in my fourth vintage sheet swap, and I just received my package of goodies this afternoon!


I'm off to start cutting them up to add to this little sneak peak I showed you awhile ago.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wedding Details


Thank you so much for all of the cake and dessert love!  Not to mention the strawberry recipes.  Although I have to say that after being immersed in baked goods for the past couple of weeks, the thought of cake makes me a little sick to my stomach at the moment.  So let's talk about the rest of the wedding, shall we?


I had many of you ask about the location of the wedding, which took place at the Blue Dress Barn near St. Joseph, MI.  My sister originally found the location in the 2008 edition of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.


A shot of the outside of the barn.

Barn looking in

Looking into the barn.

Barn looking out

Looking towards the entrance.  The dessert table is located on the far right, and the bar is on the far left.


We kept the tables pretty simple with a burlap overlay and wildflowers in blue mason jars.  A favor of all the fixings to make s'mores were placed at each seat.

place cards

These are two empty frames that I picked up at a garage sale.  We strung twine around the backs and clipped on the place cards with mini clothespins.

Gift Table

Gift table

Gift Table Sign

Hand stamped paper doilies are clipped to twine for the sign that hangs above the gift table.  It's a bit difficult to see in the previous photo because of the opened window.


The burlap and coffee filter garlands, seen earlier in this post were finally finished and strung on the balcony above the ceremony site.

Bridal Suite @ the Blue Dress Barn

There is an additional little building next to the barn that is used as a bridal suite so all of the girls can get ready on site.


If you were still hungry after visiting the dessert table, the bonfire was ready for s'more making!

Guest Book

I found this idea for a guest book amongst many wedding blogs and fell in love.  Everyone puts their thumbprint on the tree branches along with their name, and you have a beautiful piece of art for your home.  I wish I had a picture of the finished product after everyone had left their mark - it turned out beautiful!

Finally - I can't take credit for doing all of this myself.  Not only did my amazing cousin and her girlfriend help out immensely, but we had the best wedding planner in the entire world helping us out with all of the big and little details that can get lost in the shuffle.  The flowers, the bar, the food, the schedule, the setup and tear-down.... I could go on and on.  Thank you so much to Mandi and your team from Element Even Design!

I'll be back later this week with some quilting..... finally!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Three berry, four berry, hayberry, strawberry!

We interrupt the wedding coverage for a quick strawberry break.


Phoebe and I along with some friends hit up Rowe's Produce Farm yesterday for some delicious strawberry picking goodness.


Phoebe was super into it.


Although she did have a questionable choice in berries, and a lot of her contribution had to be heavily edited.



She was quite fascinated with all of the misshapen and unique berries and got good little collection started.


The sad part is that she doesn't even like strawberries (or any kind of fruit for that matter - the girl has some seriously weird food preferences).  But at least she tried one.  I'm sure I ate enough to make up for her.




We ended up with about 15 pounds of fresh berries.


I was hoping to go on a freezer jam spree last night, but ran out of pectin after only 2 1/2 pints.  I also froze a bunch to use for smoothies.  What's your favorite strawberry recipe?  I've got at least a half a tray left!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Because one wedding cake just wasn't enough

Heck, four cakes weren't enough!  I have a tendency to go overboard on my projects, and my sister's wedding was not the place where I was going to hold back.

Dessert Table

Four cakes, 150 mini cupcakes, french macarons, cake pops, sugar cookies, and lollipops.


I definitely learned a lot during the process - like that cake pops do not like to be frozen.  They taste delicious frozen, but they're not so happy when they come back up to room temp.  I made three different types of cake pops (that I got to make twice due to my freezing experiment); dark chocolate covered strawberry cake, chocolate cookie dough truffle, and pumpkin pie pops covered in white chocolate.


The front cake is a triple lemon blueberry cake and is my current favorite cake recipe.  I've got another post on that coming up later this week.


This one was a snickerdoodle cake with cinnamon buttercream.  The flower is made out of gumpaste.


The stand on the left holds coconut cupcakes, while the right is filled with carrot cupcakes covered in cream cheese icing.


Chocolate peanut butter cup cake.  Three layers of chocolate cake with peanut butter cup chunks, filled with two layers of chocolate buttercream and a layer of peanut butter filling.


We did have one casualty to the dessert table.  The large, three tiered blue floral cake (dark chocolate with nutella mousse) didn't quite make it in one piece.  It was an incredibly hot day, and after a long car ride, and having to sit in a car for an hour before we could get into the venue, we opened up the trunk upon arrival and found that the fondant had cracked and split and the bottom tier had slid apart.  Ohhhh, it was a sad moment.  But by that time, it was pretty much "on with the show" mode and we put it on the table anyways, and it was delicious nonetheless.


I just love making lollipops - they're usually an unexpected throwback that everyone loves - especially the kids (I know my daughter had about three of them).  I made four different types - peppermint, peach, lemonade, and blueberry/cherry.


So it's definitely true that making french macarons requires a a bit of skill.  It took me 5 failed batches just to get these, which are far from perfect.  But while they weren't perfect in form, they definitely tasted good.  The green ones were filled with a mint ganache and the pink were filled with a mixture of blueberry jam and buttercream.


And here I am - glad that I can finally kick back and enjoy the party!  And the great part is that all that was left at the end of the night was that smooshed bottom tier of nutella cake.  I call that a success!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Phoebe the Flower Girl

So I know I'm a little bit biased, but my daughter pretty much kicked butt as a flower girl.  In my mind I had prepared for nothing but the worst - but that's when she usually surprises me anyways.  We walked down the aisle together, because I knew there was no way to coherence her down by herself - and each handful of tossed petals was met with an enthusiastic "Wheeeeeee!"

Pretty freaking cute - and not bad for a little girl who isn't even two years old yet! 


So the dress.  Can you believe this entire dress cost me a grand total of $7 to make?  Take that, David's Bridal!  I bought a yard of this fabric from Joann's with a 50% off coupon (originally $14/yard), and the buttons, thread and lining fabric was from my stash.


I used the Flower Girl Dress pattern (very fitting) from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing.  It was super simple to make, and I finished the entire dress in a single sitting.  I made a little more work for myself by adding a lining to the skirt since my outer fabric was rather sheer (I used a soft old sheet since Phoebe is always complaining about clothes being "too itchy"), but it definitely added to the floofyness of the dress, which earned her more cute points.

She was quite the dancing machine at the reception.  Glow bracelet - check.  Lollipop - check.
I read over the errata for this dress before starting, so I followed everyone's advice and added buttons to the back of the straps to make it easier to get on and off, but it was still a beast trying to shimmy that tiny little bodice over a squirmy toddler's arms and shoulders.  But once it was on, it fit great and looked darn cute.


And it was comfortable enough to rock out in - very important!