Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Winter Garden Themed Baby Shower

On this cold, chilly day in January, I thought I might share a few pictures from my sisters baby shower that two of her best friends and I threw her exactly a year ago this month.  I ran across the photos the other day going through files and realized we did the shower before I was blogging, so I had never shared these before.  The theme was a winter garden.  As a child, my sister had collected Beatrix Potter dishes, books, and such.  We wanted to incorporate some really cute little Peter Rabbit post cards we had of Beatrix Potter characters in winter settings.  I wish I had a close-up of the framed prints...somehow I don't think I got one.  In one of the pics you can see it sitting on the table amidst the branches, moss and paper whites.

I really loved this theme for a winter baby shower.  It was simple and elegant...totally the mother-to-be.  The little touches of spring were so nice to see as it was very cold that day!  We served Pink Mixer Cupcakes ( a neighbor of mine owns and bakes)  which were amazing and so beautiful!  As well as brownie pops, creme puffs, heavenly chocolate mouse, fresh fruit, cucumber sandwiches, and iced sugar cookies.  For drinks, there was warm Chamomile Tea (a nod to Peter Rabbit himself), and a hot chocolate station.

As a thank-you to the hostesses, my sister had made little bags for each  of us with gardening gloves, Loccataine' hand lotion, herb garden labels, Anthropology mug's and some tea.  What a sweet surprise!

I can't believe it was almost a year ago! 
Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Valentines Day Burlap Wreath

So after another hat-making frenzy, Kate and I decided weneeded to take a little break today and work on some Valentine's Daydecorating. You know the saying "always a bridesmaid, never a bride"?Well, for me that saying should go more like "Always a pinner, never ado-er ( I don't really think do-er is a word, but you catch what I'm trying tosay). I am really good at finding cute things to pin on Pinterest, and havereally good intentions to make some of them, it just really never happens. Well,mark the calendar, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, I actually completed a pined item! And,I loooove it. It was thrifty and super simple!


The link to the pin  used can be found HERE...theydidn't really say how much burlap to use. I bought a yard and a half and hadleft-over. Also, I used a heart form instead of a circle like the tutorial suggests.I found mine at Hobby Lobby back with the Styrofoam in the craft section. The tutorial said it took her an hour to complete; mine was closer to two, but overall,soooo simple. The other thing I modified was the way the burlapsquares were folded. I did a triangle fold then kind of rolled them into a horn shape...Ireally liked the look. All total, I think I spent under $6.00 for the wholething!

I have never really decorated the porch for Valentine's Day before, but I love the pop of red against the house.  How are your Valentine's Day decorations coming?

Happy Wednesday!



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kate's Christmas Dress: The Cottage Mama Party Dress Pattern Remix

Is everyone is getting all of their Christmas decorations packed up and put away?  You are probabaly better than me and alreay have it done!!   I wanted to take a second to share a few last Holiday pictures of Kate's Christmas dress this year.  I know everyone is ready to move on to Valentine's Day, but I am still tying up loose ends from the holiday season! 
Back that first week in December, I had a one day break from intense Open House sewing to knock out Kate's dress for Breakfast with Santa.  I had picked out a pattern by the Cottage Mama called the Party Dress.  If you have followed the blog since we began in June, you might remember that I also used only of Lindsey's beautiful patterns for Kate's birthday bonnet on her first birthday.  Her tutorials are top notch and always turn out beautiful results!   I modified the Party Dress pattern a bit to be what I needed for our Holiday version. 
 I had been hanging onto some really cool scrapbook trim roses that I thought would be a darling accent to a sash.  I was totally impractical with my fabric choice for this dress and used a beautiful iridescent,t dry-clean only, taffeta.  As usual, a coupon at Jo-Ann's helped me out, and I think the whole dress cost around $18.00. Grandmas vintage red button's with rhinestone centers were the perfect selection for this keepsake dress.   Instead of fabric closures for the buttons use some black bracelet-making elastic thread, purely for time-saving reasons!  I attached the cream rose trim to a long satin ribbon, as as you can see in the pic below, needed  a bit stronger tacking, because when Kate suffered from Santa Meltdown, all that thrashing about un-tacked a side of my sweet accent roses!  So for most of our pictures, her pretty dress looks a bit, ummm, shall we say, unkempt! We had just enough leftover cream rose trim that we were able to squeak out a cute headband as well. 
I really wanted a full little skirt and pretty tailored bodice.  It's a pet-peeve of mine if arm holes are too loose under the arms - I know...perfectionist!  So, I altered the pattern a bit to personalize the sizing to Kate's measurements, making two, uh hum...yes two, muslin practice bodices.  We also made a super simple tulle petti-coat out of cream tulle that helped hold the skirt out. 
And the final, and most important piece, was the precious little purse, compliments of Grandma Charla.  That last picture where she's taking her curly little head and walking out swinging her purse could have been captioned "I'm outta here Santa!"  She was not impressed with all.
 If you are visiting us from Project Run and Play, welcome!  We are so glad you stopped by.  As always, I love to hear from all of you.  Good luck getting all those Christmas decorations down!

Happy Tuesday,

Monday, January 7, 2013

And the winner is......

I'm so excited to announce the winner of a free Ruffled T-Shirt Hat to one of the Two Bee's followers! I combined everyone' entries for the drawing: those who had posted on the blog, liked us on Facebook, or shared our link on Facebook. In doing so, I hope I have included everyone that is interested, and if you have accidentally gotten tossed in the raffle and aren't interested, no worries! Just let me know and we will try again with the runner-up :)!

Thanks so much everyone for your continued support and comments! I just love connecting with people through the blog and so enjoy reading all your comments! We grew the past four days! Over 150 page views on the ETSY store and 30 new friends on Facebook! Whoo-hooo!!

Without further ado....
Drum roll please.....

Doesn’t Brock look super excited to be helping :)  And notice the 4 titanium necklaces?  We are super balanced here....

Congratulations Ann!!! I will be in contact with you to claim your hat!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!


Friday, January 4, 2013

The Tale of a T-Shirt to an adorable little hat...

This little post has been written and re-written over and over in my head for the past few months.  It has been on my heart and in my head.  Before I get to deep into this tale, I would like to start by explaining that my intention of this post is not to sell.  Moreover my hope is to share with you the very personal journey that these little hats have taken me on in the past year, and share the beginnings of a new chapter, yet to be written for these little guys.
And so it began with the Tale of the little Ruffled Hat….
Imagine: an art teacher (who loves and is passionate about her job) has a family.  The family grows.  With baby number 3 comes the great desire to slow down the pace of life and focus on what is right in front of her, which she all too soon knows will pass, her young children.  She reignites an old passion while expecting baby number 3: sewing.  She tries all sorts of new patterns for baby girl Johnson.  Her outlet in the evening to relax after a busy day of mommy-ing and teaching is to sit and drool over patterns and fabric.  One night she comes across a pattern by Lilly Giggle….a little hat made from knits…darling!  She adds this to a list of patterns she would like to purchase and shares it with the home-ec. teacher at school who coincidental whips up one for Baby Girl Johnson one weekend.  Baby Girl gets tons of compliments on the hat, which ignites a little spark in the art teacher…could I make these and sell them?
So you guessed it, I’m the art teacher.  I bought the pattern.  I made the hat.  The very first one was a gift for a neighbor’s little girl on her first birthday.  The neighbor was totally thrilled and kept urging me to make them…still unconfident and unsure; I convinced myself I still needed more practice.  The second hat I made was for my soon-to-be niece, Julia.  My sister used it in her newborn photo shoot and the pictures turned out precious.  My sister too urged me…”These are darling!  You need to sell these!”  Soon, two more orders came in.  Then, in May, a special request from a fellow middle-school art teacher, “Jenny, if I give you a t-shirt that my class and I have tie-dyed school colors, could you make it into a hat for a student who is undergoing chemo for cancer?” 
Wow.  Speechless. 
So I made one more hat…and in that one hat I hoped that I sewed in enough love and healing that it’s new little model would wear it and feel like she was getting a hug each time she wore her hat.  It was at this point that very quietly, I could hear God whispering to me.  It was a pull that I knew I was supposed to follow.  I didn’t quite trust in the direction that I was being pulled.  Too risky, I kept telling myself.  Quit your full-time job?  Focus on your family.  Use God’s gifts, different gifts, in different ways than those around me expected me to.  I was so unsure and kept reassuring myself that I just could not do it.  I had no assurance it would work.
About that time I also made my daughter, Mary Kate, a hat…tea-stained like her cousin Julia’s and filled with eyelet from Grandma’s trim stash, laces from mom’s stash and scraps of torn fabric.  People would comment every time she wore it.  This winter we have pulled it back out and, I’m not kidding…every time she wears it people stop and ask where I got it and if they can have a business card.  At the neighborhood Holiday Open House I participated in early November I sold almost 15 hats!  Special Orders from friends and family have exploded. 
Well, to end the story…I did listen and quit my full time job.  I have been waiting tables this fall and working endless hours on the side to learn the business, keep up with orders from hats, and most importantly be present in the moment with my kids and husband.  I listened.  I closed my eyes and jumped….and….doors are slowly opening.  Over Christmas break, Kate, Grandma Charla and I stopped in a local boutique and the girl behind the counter asked about Kate’s little hat.  She wanted a business card.  Said the owner would “flip”!  She also asked if I had a line sheet?  And I thought “a what?”  A day later I received a phone call from the owner that she is very interested in selling my little hats in her shop, would I be able to drop off some samples and pricing?  Ummmmm…YES!
So last weekend…two days after Christmas when I swore to my family I wouldn’t be dragging out the sewing machine again…I did.  And I learned on the fly all sorts of new things about design (thank goodness for the art background!)…a look-book? Check.  A line sheet?  Check.  Samples?  Check. Check. Check.
 Tea-Stained Look Book and Line Sheet
I don’t know where this will all lead….but I have a very, very good feeling.  Doors are opening.  Slowly.  I am listening.  And most importantly, it makes me over the moon happy.  Happy to be using a gift, that I wasn’t so sure about, to make something that makes other’s happy.  Happy that God is allowing me to be a mommy first while still utilizing gifts he gave to me.
I have completely updated the ETSY store.  If you are interested in checking T-Hats out, or other new items, I offer them as custom orders through my ETSY Store by clicking on the screenshot below.  You may also shop by clicking on the right side mini-etsy store you see on this page. 
Ruffle T-shirt Hats are made from 100% up-cycled cotton t-shirts.  A lot of people can’t believe these are made from a t-shirt, but they are!   I am pretty picky about using only new or nearly new shirts.  Tea-stained or colored options are available.  T-hat are available in every size from newborn to adult.  I can supply the T’s or you may provide me with a sentimental or specific T if you wish.
Each ruffled band is shirred on elastic thread so that hats are quite stretchy and fit the head comfortably.  Each hat bears the Two Bees and a Belle label and is finished with a t-flower on the front.
Donation nearly new T’s welcome…I’m many folks new “Salvation Army”.  If you are like my husband, he has tons of these that have been given to him through school and sports that have only been worn a time or two.
If you have already purchased a T-Hat…Thank You!  I would love to use pictures of your little ones sporting their ruffle-y goodness in future advertisements!
And to close off this lengthy post, I would like to give away a hat!  If you stuck with it and read this whole super long post you deserve a gift! 
There are three ways to enter the giveaway:
1.  leave a comment below with your email contact (so I can contact you if you win!)  Some have indicated that they don't have a Google Account so they aren't sure how to leave a's super on the arrow on the box that says COMMENT AS....
See at the bottom where it says ANONYMOUS?  Click that.  You should now be able to leave a comment.  Just be sure to leave contact info. or I don't know how to find is great!
2 .  Go to Facebook and LIKE Two Bees and Belle's Facebook Page.  Now enter another comment on this page that says "I liked you on Facebook" sure to leave an e-mail contact!
3.  Now click "SHARE" on the Facebook about this post.  Enter another comment on this page that says "I shared this!" sure to leave an e-mail contact. 
That's  it!  Three ways to win a hat all for you.  You can choose size, color, etc.  Winner will be announced Monday at 9:00 PM CST.
Thanks so much everyone and good luck!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Well hello there...

Well hello there.  Long time, no see!  Did you think I had succumbed to Mayan prophecy over here at Two Bee’s?  We are still very here, and very excited it 2013. This is going to be a GREAT (yes, I'm yelling it) year!   It has been a whirl-wind of a past two months.  Let me recap, in a sentence, if I can, all that has been keeping us busy….

Host a Thanksgiving, Birthdays: mine and my husband’s (one day apart!), art lessons (yes, I teach private lessons on the weekends to help little ones with their skills and retain mine), waitressing (another little known fact about me…I waited tables at a local pizza place this fall on the weekends), soccer, Christmas Parties, Open Houses (Two Bee’s first open house!  Whoo-hoo….a total success!  more on this later…), Filling three-week’s worth of special orders from said Open House, participated as a  merchant at Mantel’s and Martini’s, shopping, shopping, and more shopping, Breakfast with Santa, snow days, sick child #1, sick child #2, sick child #3, a BIG award for my husband being honored as the "Most Distinguished Principal in the Grater Kansas City Area", slumber parties, Christmas, New Years…..the list could go on and on!

And so goes life with a family of 5 people and two dogs.  Crazy, Busy, Loud, Beautiful…It’s definitely a wonderful life!

So from my family to yours….


Yep, ½ of these went out before Christmas, and the other ½ friends and family can find in their mailboxes today! Better late than never….right?

Happy New Year friends!