Enjoying Fall

It's 2:30 on a glorious, sunny Friday afternoon and what do I have to show for myself?  Not a thing, that's what.  The house is a mess, I haven't changed out of my pj's, and I LOVE it!  I've given myself permission to enjoy a lazy day with my little Chub Nugget (Brooke).  I held her when she took her nap, we played, watched a movie, and can I tell you how much FUN this is?!   She's my last baby, okay, so I'm enjoying every second because I'm so painfully aware of how fast it flies by.  I'm still in disbelief that my kids are as old as they are.  (I'm not any older, of course, but they are...)

So here's to a lazy Fall day!  (I took that photo this morning just as the sun was peeking through the trees.  Amazing.  It'll all be gone by next week - so sad.)


Birdie Ornaments

Okay, Ladies - it's October and I didn't really get into Halloween junk this year, although my kids probably wish I had, but I decided to jump right into Christmas stuff.  I think I'm done with my Peppermint Tree {gasp} and don't be sad, but it had to happen eventually.  You knew that, right?!  Besides, the candies were all popping out of my garland and I'm bored of peppermint - I'm ready for multi-color!!!  {Plus, I need ornaments that a baby can pull off, suck on, and NOT destroy before I have time to rip it from her solid, slobbery grasp.}

So here are my newest friends!  Little Birdies!!!  Although I don't think I'm going to do my tree in "birds", these were fun to make and play with.   AND...you can tie these onto presents, hang them on gift bags, and give them away with your baked goodies!  How cute and fun, right?! 
Here's how to make yourself some bird friends:
 You need:
DMC Floss (it has strands you can pull apart)
Small embroidery hoop 
Pinking shears
Embroidery needle
Washable marking pen or something you can mark with
A template from your imagination traced onto cardstock
(it's not hard to trace a little bird shape, then draw a wing in the middle & cut it out)

Step 1:  Trace wing shapes, then stitch using my stitch guide , this amazing guide here, or do your own thing.  Be creative!  If I get some time, for those of you interested, I'll post another stitch guide and include some of the newer things I've learned like the flowers, leaves, and other border stitches.

Don't worry about your embroidery hoop going over the top of the other stitched wings - I didn't have any problems, just don't get it too tight and try to be careful.

Set your wings aside and cut out your main body using your pinking shears for that pointy edge look.  Trace your bird shape onto ONE piece of felt.  Pin that one piece to your backing, and it can be the same color if you want - I used two different colors.  Cut out your bird shape around the edges of your tracing pen.

Everything is all lined up perfectly!  Cut out your wings, leaving just enough space for you to stitch them down onto the top piece of your bird.

(see photos below) After your wing is stitched onto your top piece, cut out a beak and a ribbon hanger.  Don't forget to give your bird an eye ball, too!  Put in a French knot where you'd like it to go and remember: the more times you wrap your floss around your needle, the bigger your eye is going to be.

  Glue beak and ribbon onto the back side of  your bird.

Now stitch the bird closed.  Start wherever you'd like, I started at the bottom.  With your knot on the INSIDE of the bird, whip stitch in-between your crimps from the scissors.

...so easy - great way to teach kids how to stitch - let them make one of their own!!

 Now stuff that bird.  To get fluffies way up into the tail portion, you might want to start stuffing a little up in there before you get to this point - but it doesn't matter.  Just fatten him up a little or a lot, using your scissors or a skewer to push the stuffing up inside the bird without tearing through your stitching.  {For heaven's sake!}

Now finish off with a square knot - and that's it!  How easy is that?!

...not lovin' this one - it doesn't scream "Christmas" at me - but she's still cute nevertheless. {she IS a she, right, I mean - look at her....}   Maybe if you had a girlie, pastel-type decor scheme - then this lady would be perfect!  Anybody want her?!  Email me and I'll send her to you.  Nevermind - she's going to Tanya!  Enjoy!


Oh, WHAT do you do?!

Workin' on a project.  {GASP!]  Well, that is, between chasing my baby all over the house removing small items from her chubby little hands and her soggy mouth, peeling poopy outfits off of her (I SWEAR...how does she produce all of that?!), doing dishes, fighting my desire to lay down and sleep, feeding people, cleaning up random messes that seem to multiply behind my back, and many more exciting and fulfilling tasks.  I'm trying to squeeze in a Christmas project here and there, which is why I remain madly in love with embroidery right now because you can set it down and pick it up whenever.  perfect!

But what do you do when you're ready to step out of your funk, leave the house, breathe in some fresh fall air, stop the madness for a moment, and escape?!  

You RUN over to the bakery, grab two gorgeous looking specimen, go home giggling, put the little ones down for a nap (or, for heaven's sake, find something mindless and numbing for them like cartoons) and have a TASTE TEST!!!  (by the way, I was totally wearing my 'cookie pants' and slippers with my hair pulled back and no shower!  How rad is that?!)

SO....today's challenge is...German Chocolate vs. Coconut Cream.  (notice the absence of fondant...haha.)

As you see here, both are beautiful with their own desirableness.  (is that even a word?)
Of course, I'm a chocolate addict, but I'm also a coconut freak, so between the two cupcakes, this should prove to be a difficult competition. aaakk! I love a tough challenge!!!

 NO BRAINER.  The German Chocolate wins hands-down.  The coconut cupcake is merely so-so because they used that nasty Crisco-like frosting, which, frankly, creeps me out.  Sorry, coconut cream.  (It needed cream-filling, that's what, and there might have been some challenge here.)

The German Chocolate has more flavor, the frosting isn't whipped Crisco, and, well, just look at it!  It's heaven!  What am I going to do when I don't live by this bakery anymore?!    

There you have it, folks.  A perfect way to escape reality, if just for a moment.
(side note:  because I'm trying to eat 'smarter', as hard as that might be to believe, I'm actually done tasting the cupcakes and I'm going to put them in the fridge and/or throw them away.  I only needed a taste.  It's a good feeling when you can do that.  A few dollars is worth my sanity!)