Sunday, November 27, 2011

Best of My Days {Grown Up Place Cards}

I saw this fabulous gift idea on one of my most favorite blogs, Under the Sycamore Tree, the week before Thanksgiving. It went perfectly with my hopes of having meaningful favors. The little notepad was the perfect size for our plates..

Her idea was simple: write down the best part of the day...every day. I loved that its something we can do every day at dinner then at the year's end have a whole collection of wonderful, thankful memories.

I simply printed out her pdf file and followed her directions, which included a bit of decorative accents to 'wrap it'. I added a name and the directions with ric rack, lace or tulle and a upcycled coffee sleeve.

And I actually got a cousin picture of {almost} all the cousins there and with their adorable head dresses. Totally shocked and totally pleased that I was able to capture their cuteness. This was after a full day of fun, food, and play {and short naps}...

Hope you all had a wonderfully stuffed Thanksgiving Day!

The Swensons

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Head Dress {The Kids' Table Favors}

 You just never know where inspiration will hit ya. I've been trying to come up with a more meaningful place card/favor for our Thanksgiving. But also one that didn't have me running out buying supplies either. What a tall order! 

Then over the weekend, E and W were playing with this felt head dress that I had picked up at JoAnn's in the $1 section a while back. It was too big for E but it was too cute not to pass up. While they were playing, it hit me: I could make one for each cousin that will be there. And I'll personalize each to make it more memorable!
I don't think I've shared my love affair with felt yet with this blog. It's really one of greatest and awesome-est {yeah, i know...not a real word...} fabrics to work with. So I immediately got to work by pulling out all my scraps. I used the JoAnn's headband as my template.

First, I cut out my front and back headband strips from brown {times seven}. Then I embroidered all seven cousins' names.

Next, I traced the four different templates for the layered leaves on to green, red, orange and brown felt. {which I wish I could show you my four pretty little stacks, but that picture somehow got deleted. bleh.}  Here's the back of the one I purchased to give you an idea of the templates I used.

I then cut little slits into the leaves, to make them more leaf-like. That was done by folding each leaf in half and making little downward cuts starting from the top of the leaf.

Now came the tricky part: assembly. 
I glue-gunned all my layers together. My first run-in with a problem. I came up with this finished product:
 Um, yeah. Not going to cut it for a warrior-like head dress, yo. I consulted with my other half who is THE problem-solver. And he suggested I do this:
I glued the rest of the overlaying parts of the leaves together to try to reinforce them. Viola! We're back in business!
I also glued a small extra piece in back to good measure.

I laid them all out to make sure I put the velcro pieces on the right sides.

Funny thing about velcro...when I only had three head dresses left to make, they suddenly disappeared. W and I started going through the downstairs wondering where we could have put them. Since I do my crafting on our dining table, it's not uncommon for materials to be re-located for meal times. W suddenly started laughing because he saw the velcro had totally done its my butt!
It was hilarious; partly because a minor crisis had been adverted and I didn't need to re-do them.

Last steps were to pin and sew those puppies up!
I had some issues getting my machine to go through the parts that were heavily hot-glued. I tried to get close enough to the center orange leaf on both sides and called it good.

And then they were done!
They are all packed up and ready for our long drive! I hope they like them! Now, how in the world will I be able to get all seven wearing them and smiling for the camera?!

Stay tuned for the adult favors!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Place Cards {the details}

I'm VERY excited for Thanksgiving this year for multiple reasons. My top two favorite ones are: 1) my hubby gets the whole week off and 2) it will be my first Swenson Thanksgiving! That's right, I've been a Swenson now for almost four years and have yet to celebrate this wonderful holiday with my hubby's side of the family. And I love them dearly and am so thankful to have awesome, amazing in-laws so you can see how I'd be excited. The only trade-off for this great experience is the six hour car drive with a 2 year old and 2.5 month old. No free lunch, huh? Heh.

Anyway, I stumbled across some cute place cards in my recent Real Simple and blog-hopping. I e-mailed my sister-in-law {the one hosting} to see if I could help in some way since we aren't local. Thought I'd try to add some festive elements that aren't too bulky or time-consuming. Although, with such a large family like this, place cards could potentially be time-consuming! ;)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Afternoon Activities

Some of this...
with a bit of that...
 So Mama could start her next craft!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Recap

The boys' costumes were finished just in time! Phew! I had a blast creating and hunting down pieces to make them complete. 

E's was pretty simple. I didn't make anything for his Macgyver/Macgruber outfit. He already had the collared shirt and skinny jeans and boots. I found his vest at Target and just loved it, so I ignored the fact that it's not exactly utility! It's a 3T so he'll get plenty of wear out of it. The bomber glasses were purchased online.

 Compared to the real deal:
Now, for T's costume. That took a bit more woman-power.

I basically did an "A frame" style. It's super easy and super quick. I wanted to keep the construction simple because I'd never done this before. Here's the costume in its pieces.
That's the back, front with a long strip to go between his legs, and the two shoulder straps. As you can tell, Velcro and I were BFFs on this one. I used red and white felt. Since Joann's was out of gray felt, I used gray fabric and reinforced it with my extra white felt. The gray pieces took about seven trials before getting it just right. Let's just say, it's a really good thing I'm starting this whole "homemade costumes" with infant size!  I stuffed the front and back with pillow stuffing to give it extra dimension.
T made THE cutest utility knife I've ever seen!

So how did the whole trick-or-treating thing go? We did about three houses before calling it quits. E had a long and too-much-fun kind of day at Gpa's and Gma's so he was ready to hit the hay early. BUT he did love saying hi to our friends and getting a few pieces of candy. And T? Well, he fell asleep in Gma's arms after the second house.