Thursday, June 28, 2012

1956 Bubble and Eyelet Apron

I am so excited to share this little outfit with you!  I found the pattern in the spring and ordered it off of ETSY… the other blogs I follow list vintage patterns that they stumble across in local thrift stores, but I never seem to be so lucky!  I love everything about the 1950’s style of clothing: the fitted waistline, shorter and fuller skirts (perfect for new walkers), attention to details…really, the patterns are just wonderful!  As I continue to learn new sewing techniques and hone in on “my style” I keep coming back to the patterns of this time period.  They make me feel like I am in another era inspired by the looks of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie-O…style icons!  So a really great night for me is flipping on Pandora to my Jimmy Durante station and sewing a 50’s pattern…instantly, I feel like I am back in time…watching my grandma, wearing an apron and pearls,  sew something for her little girls…perfection!  The past is such an inspiration for me!
                Kate got the most adorable little squeak shoes for her birthday.  Yes, they squeak every time she steps…and I think they are precious!  Ask my dad, after this weekend’s vacation and he might have a different version, but that’s beside the point.  The shoes are black with little white and yellow daisy-looking flowers on the toe…only problem was she didn’t have an outfit to match.  Sooooo…when I thought about what we could make to go with the shoes, this pattern immediately came to mind.  I knew black and white check gingham with a white eyelet skirt would just be perfection!  I have to say, I couldn’t be more pleased with the final design.  I love the large white bow and two deep pockets on the detachable skirt, perfect for holding the paci’s that we very much need to start weaning her off of!  The gingham bubble is so cute all by itself, and I can’t even tell you how much I love the weight of classic summer gingham!  Truly, I wish I had a bubble for meJ!  I also added a headband, black elastic with a gingham ruffle and black ribbon.  

                I think I am going to make another red version of the bubble to pair with the skirt for the Fourth of July.  The skirt is so versatile…it could be paired with many things other than the bubble and “work”!  I will list this item in the store this week.  It is a custom order, size 1.  Measurements: Chest 20 inches, Waist 19 ½ inches, hips 21 inches (Comparable in size to a GAP 12-18 month).  The bubble has elastic waistband and leg openings (please note: no snaps in crotch).   Please indicate which color of gingham (red, pink, black, blue).  Please allow two weeks for custom orders. 

Look for another ready-to-ship listing for a size 2, 1950’s pattern early next week!

I would love to know what you think!  Comments always wanted and welcome.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

KIDS PROJECT: Painter's Tape Canvas Tutorial

It's so hot here in Missouri!! And if you are like every other parent around here, you are probably thinking "Great! What are we going to do all cooped up tomorrow!?" This is a project that Brock and Bryce did last summer and loved. It kept them both completely intrigued for over an hour three days in a row! Yep, that's right; three days....I was amazed! Each day the boys added some painters tape and painted a new "layer" on top of the old painting which gives a very multi-dimensional effect to the final project.
    This is so easy! But first you need to gather a few supplies...

    Paint -I used acrylic Folk Art brand paint...any craft store will have it. Choose the location first where the finished masterpiece will hang and then coordinate the paint accordingly. I choose a wall in my kitchen where the walls are pale green. Therefore, I went mainly with green, tints and shades of green,  blue-green, and yellow. A little color wheel knowledge comes in handy a nutshell if colors are neighbors on the wheel they "play nice together"...opposites on the color wheel don't.  Mix opposites together and your will get a pretty yucky color. So say you want orange and blue in your finished product...that's fine! I will explain later how to make that work...but to begin pick one main color and it's tints and shades ( shade's add black to the main color, tints add white). We even threw in come metallic paint just for fun and it gave a really cool effect!
    Canvases -You may choose one for each child, or if you have a really big area you may opt to grid several 12 x 12 canvases together to cover more space... lots of creative options here! You can usually pick up a canvas pretty reasonably at Michael's or Hobby Lobby...they go on sale frequently.
    Tape - Painter's tape or regular old masking tape will workgreat. Varying the width is always great too, but not necessary.

    DAY 1 - To begin, put paint out on a paper plate. As far as colors go, I would go with your main color and tints and shades of it. So in our case I put out green that coordinated with the walls, white, dark green, yellow, and cream. For the first layer just let them go to town painting! Wherever they want...only rule: nothing we can recognize. No hearts, stars, trees, letters, etc. Just mush the colors around and experience what happens with them. Use different materials - this part they will love! Try spreading the paint with an old gift card, one of my favorite techniques.Very grungy looking. Make sure you get the edges and then let it dry overnight.

    DAY 2 -For the second layer have each child place tape wherever they choose on their canvas. It's really ok for them to put it wherever they want! As far as color goes...I still stay with a similar pallet to layer one, just make 2 or three subtle changes for contrast. Now let them go! Paint away! Cover much or as little as you want of Day 1's painting. Let canvas dry overnight.

    DAY 3 -same as day 2 - or skip to day 4 :)

    DAY 4 -Now it's time to add some complement colors - this would be the time to add those colors that don't "play nice together"...just put out that color and it's tints and shades...So in ours that's where you see the red...I kind of told them to try to just put this color in spots they felt were"special" so it wouldn't overpower.

    DAY 5 -This is the best part...carefully pull off all that tape and see the masterpiece underneath!

    You really could drag this out for as many days as you want...the more days you do it the more depth your painting will have! We actually only have 3 layers on ours and I think 2 more would have been great...but totally happy with how they turned out. More importantly, the boys were so proud and now have masterpieces in the kitchen!

    I would love to hear if you give it a try!  Stay cool tomorrow everyone!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Busy bees around here

So things have been a teensy weensy bit crazy here this week.  Trying to keep up with the two B's baseball schedule has kept everyone hoppin!  Only two games and two ice cream parties until we wrap up this baseball season.  My boys are so sad.  I am sad for them, because they all love it so much.  However, I am sure we will find some ways to occupy a lil' extra time on the weekends!

We also took a wonderful trip this past week to celebrate my parent's 40th anniversary.  We had a great time at the Lake of the Ozarks, and enjoyed some much needed R&R, boat, and family time, even if the two B's did keep 7 adults busy the whole weekend. :) 
I have some posts planned this week that I am very excited about!  Working on a tutorial for a kids painting project that we did here last summer and the boys thoroughly enjoyed!  Also have planned to photograph and add to the ETSY store a cute little size 2 summer bubble outfit made from a 1950's pattern.  I am completely smitten with 1950's patterns right now!   A few other crafty little ideas I want to try to get to as well, but we have to save something for next week right?!

Happy Monday everyone!


Monday, June 18, 2012


A lil' peek at what is keeping me up late tonight! Can't wait to show you the finished product!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Strawberry Yummies and my Scone Recipe

Such yummie strawberry treats were enjoyed at Mary Kate's first birthday party!  We started with strawberry scones.  I picked this recipe up when we were on vacation in Destin, FL one summer.  I make it all the time and it is one of my family's favorites!  See below for the recipe.
I also found several great recipes on pinterest that I added to my Strawberry First Birthday Party board.  The Strawberry Tea is officially my new "drink of summer"!  The Jack bread sticks and Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Lime Dressing were soooo easy!  We added a little seasoned chicken breast on top of our salad and they were the main entree.  Of course I knew salad wasn't going to be a huge hit with the two B's, so macaroni was also in order!

For the cupcakes and Kate's "mini-cake" I used a recipe I discovered on the blog I mentioned yesterday called  This Inspired Me. The recipe is  called Strawberry Dream Frosting...all I need to say here folks is THREE CUPS OF BUTTER...oh yes...a dream.  We added some sparkly white sugar. 
 For the little cake, I used a jumbo muffin tin and filled just three of the cups (I put water in the unfilled ones so that the pan wouldn't burn).  When they came out of the oven I sliced the "muffin tops" off, leaving three little mini-cake layers...I assembled these as you normally would a layer cake and....Viola!  Mini Cake.

Fresh strawberries
3 cups of self-rising flour
¼ cup fruit
½ cup sugar
1 stick of butter
½ cup of buttermilk
*      Note:  I use more buttermilk than the recipe calls for…I don’t really measure it…sorry!  I just add a little bit at a time until the consistency is that of slightly sticky dough.
Prepare the fruit by slicing and sprinkling with a little sugar. Set aside.
Combine flour and sugar.  Cut butter into flour and sugar mixture until it resembles a course meal.  Add buttermilk * see note above, then fruit.
Stir until all ingredients are moistened and form a soft ball.  Turn out on a generously floured surface and knead until it can be patted out ½ inch think.  Cut with a biscuit cutter.  Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
1 cup powdered sugar
A few drops of milk or whipping cream
Puree a small amount of strawberries.  Stir in the powdered sugar and a few drops of milk to make a glaze.  Adjust liquid to make a consistency for brushing top of scones with a pastry brush (I just spoon it on).  Brush tops of scones and watch the glaze disappear…or if you’re like me you put a lot of glaze on and can still very much see it as you sneak two of these little delights before calling the job “done”… :).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Very Sweet 1st Birthday

 Welcome to Mary Kate’s Strawberry Patch!  This party was so much fun to plan!  I can’t remember how I originally got stuck on the strawberry idea; maybe because Mary Kate's birthday is in May which is the beginning of Strawberry season? I loved the idea of a vintage Strawberry theme.

 I started her outfit almost three months ago, I knew with it being the end-of-a-school-year, time would be very limited to work on it.  I used the Tie Die Diva Pretty Pantaloons and Butterfly Top pattern…I love this company's patterns!  You can’t see them so well in my pictures, but the little pantaloons were just adorable!  I ran across the fabric at Hobby Lobby and thought the colors were just perfect for our strawberry theme…plus I can never pass up a beautiful shabby-chic looking floral!  I added the cream eyelet detail on the sleeves and the front bodice…thought it looked a little more “strawberry” girl that way.  Since our sweet lil’ half pint has no hair, the bonnet worked perfectly! 

On the front door folded paper fans welcome guests to “the farm”.  These are so simple to make and tutorials are floating around on Pintrest.

We hosted the party in the backyard on our patio.  Festive red paper lanterns hung from our Cedar trees.  I love the pop of red against the dark tree.  These were such a great find…only a dollar a piece at the Everything’s A Dollar store…plus they really light up with little battery powered lights!  I love a good deal!

The invitations I ordered from a wonderful little ETSY company called The Homespun Hostess .   Sara was wonderful to work with and even helped me adjust the date since we had to reschedule the party. * The scones you see in the background I will post the recipe for tomorrow J…they were a big hit!

The adorable party hats were so much fun to make…and so simple!  I got the wonderful tutorial from one of the blogs I follow Girl. Inspired.  Stef’s blog This Inspire Me is just amazing!  Click here to check out her party hats and see her wonderful work! 

The little girls at the party received souvenirs baskets filled with strawberry goodies, and the boys take-me-home gift was a monogrammed brown craft paper circle, zigzag stitched, with strawberry and sour apple jelly-belly’s hiding inside.

We had a very happy Birthday Girl!  What a great pleasure it was to plan this party!  That’s it for today…tomorrow I’ll share some of the yummy treats and a few of my favorite recipes from the party!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sneak Peek at a Strawberry Birthday

Someone had a birthday this weekend!  Can you guess from my pinboard which fun details made the cut? Check out my board Pintrest Strawberry Birthday 
 Anxious to share all the details, recipes and pics with you this week!  Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Knot Pillowcase Dress

 I mentioned yesterday that today I would be sharing the Knot Pillowcase Dress. This is absolutely my most favorite thing I think I have made so far. When I finished it back in February, I knew it was "the dress" for one-year pictures. I am sure many of you have seen the pillowcase dresses that many have been making recently. I love them, but was looking for something more tailored to use with a special pillowcase that my mom had given me. I stumbled across a patten for a knot dress by Whimsy Couture and thought this would be a perfect way to join a pillowcase with a true dress pattern! I also wanted to incorporate a detail I had seen in a children's catalog where the ties were reversed to tie in the back with a large it! The pillowcase my mother gifted to me, originally a wedding gift 40 some years ago, had this beautiful hand stitching along the bottom of the pillow, and the fabric is just the finest, softest thing ever!!

  I envisioned Mary Kate in this finished little dress on the beach in Florida...but instead I bring you the golden fields of the Midwest :).  I doubled the skirt with and underskirt so that the lace "dress" on the doll at the bottom would have a backing up against it...the skirt was not too full...I was limited by the width of the pillowcase, but overall, I am so delighted with the finished product!  This was one of the "firsts" in adding to Mary Kate's hand-sewn collection.  Special thanks to our resident family photographer for all the beautiful pictures with Mary Kate in them...we had so much fun trying to get this feisty one-year-old to look elegant in this dress! 

Thanks for visiting today! 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Welcome! and the Pillowcase Romper

Welcome to my first blog post at Two Bees and a Belle!  I am so excited to start blogging about all the fun little projects I have going here on the side at home.  I guess I should start with a little bit about how I got to this place…in a nutshell with LOTS of encouragement from friends and family!  I am a mother of three awesome kids by day…Brock, 9, Bryce, 5, and Kate, 12 months.  Also by day, I am an art teacher…a passion which has brought me sooo much creative inspiration for a total of seven years.  I taught before I had my oldest, took a break for about 6 years and was a Parent Educator for the Missouri Parents As Teachers Program, and then returned to middle school art three years ago.  Upon the birth of Mary Kate a year ago, I began my first experience with being a working mom with three kids…oh, did I mention my husband is an elementary school principal as well J?!  Juggling four different school schedules, one competitive baseball schedule and trying to find time to sleep and wash everyone'sclothes was proving to be more than a challenge, so we decided as a family that this next year mom will be back at home undertaking the task of keeping everyone organized and ready for the “next big event”.  I am so excited to start this new chapter in our family’s life! 

                About 18 months ago my mom and sister introduced me to etsy and a monster was born!  As I looked through all the shops, I was so motivated to dig out the sewing machine and start trying out a couple of things for our new baby-to-be.  I have always enjoyed sewing, but mostly had only done Halloween costumes, bed skirts, and curtains…not clothes!  I have such fond memories of sewing with my grandma, mom and aunt as a kid…even a Great-grandma who worked for Nelly Don back in the day…so somehow it must just be in my DNA!  I began with a few simple little onesie nightgown which grew into headbands to match which turned into, “I love this!”, “I can do this!”.  I started ordering patterns and sewing unique little creations for Mary Kate.  The items I was choosing to make felt so personal! I love that about sewing!  The making is just as much fun as the finished product!  People started asking about a few items and encouraged me to start making business cards. I continued to practice all sorts of patterns in the wee hours of the weekend daydreaming during the week of the next opportunity to sew I might have.  Honestly, I have become a little obsessed...ask my husband.

 As I mentioned, I love the creative, motivational aspect of my art teaching career…I knew staying home this would be tough to give up.  I think this little venture is my quite compromise to keep that creativity alive and still be able to “teach” and motivate others to be creative, through this blog.  In addition to sewing, I love all things home related from decorating, to cooking…I hope to share little bits of all of that in the blog.

So without further ado….I want to share with you one of the first patterns I started with.  I have made it several times, several different ways, and it is one of my favorites! Pillowcase dresses are so adorable, but with a toddler, new to walking, sometimes a dress (as much as I love them!) isn’t so practical!  I love the pillowcase romper because it just looks so stinkin’ comfy!  The pics beloware examples of the Capri length….it also comes in shorts length and pants(great for fall with a long sleeve tee!). These can be made from preemie (or doll size) to size 10!

P.S.  My sister made the adorable yo-yo clip on Kate's cute!  My grandma White taught us how to make yo-yo's and we inherited her vintage button she has been using both to make these darling little hair clips.

Tomorrow I will show you anotherfavorite of mine…the knot dress made out of a vintage pillowcase…and a few sneak peeks of Kate’s one year pics!  

Thanks for visiting!