26 August 2015


To set the scene: Just after I entered the sewing world I made a trip to the fabric store.  I stuck to the clearance section and had no idea what I was doing.  I bought fabrics that I will never use because I didn't know what I liked yet.  But I found some sheer, sparkly, light green material and immediately thought, "Someday I will make a Tinkerbell costume with this."

Cut to now; Aaron's Uncle Darren is turning 50 on Saturday, and is holding a masquerade to celebrate.  Any excuse to make costumes, right?  With Halloween being so cold (there is usually snow on the ground) I was very excited at the prospect of finally making the Tinkerbell costume for Cupcake when it will be warm enough for her to wear it!

I started with this tank top, given to me from a friend quite some time ago.  I shorted the straps considerably, and added elastic to the back to gather it in.  And of course, I added the green sparkles.  A bit at the top for modesty, and bunches at the bottom for attitude.

I was still stuck on the idea of pick-ups, like the Cupcake Princess dress.  It gave it a party feel (it is for a masquerade), and the rounded bottom reminded me of leaves. 

But it still needed a little something to make it just right.  Thank goodness for Project Run & Play!  The addition of embroidery was exactly what this dress needed.  I know I wouldn't have thought of that without the suggestion from Frances Suzanne.  

I don't know if this will even count, since it is more of a refashion instead of sewing from scratch (and there is no way I'm beating the Tinkerbell from June), but I did create and I did add hand-sewing.  Let me know if I'm breaking the rules!

I had never done any hand-sewing before, so this was totally new for me.  It is far from perfect, but it was fun to do.  It's all basic back-stitching, with a few attempts at French knots that didn't work.  Nothing fancy, but it did the job I needed done.

To complete the outfit, a pair of light-up wings from a friend and some hand-painted shoes with yarn pom-poms tied on.  Cupcake had so much fun painting the shoes.  When we were finished she grabbed two other pairs of shoes and declared that we paint them purple.  

Did you know that Tinkerbell has a stuffed sheep?

A little magic to wrap things up - because sometimes I do get lucky with the camera.  In a true Peter Pan moment, Cupcake was playing with her shadow!

Cupcake has a Little Lamb

My favorite thing to sew is clothes for Cupcake, but looking in her closet she really doesn't need any clothes right now.  Except maybe pants.  I'm willing to buy leggings for her because they are cheap and fit her chubby legs well, but they aren't the best option for the cold weather coming soon.  Some sturdy, simple, plum-colored canvas pants coming up!

I followed my favorite basic pants tutorial on MADE and whipped up these pants in no time.  I'm excited to have made something so useful - these will go with a lot of her wardrobe!  So plain is good and practical, but it is also a little boring.  

This month for Project Run & Play the challenge wasn't a specific pattern but adding some hand-sewing to whatever we wanted to make.  Plain purple pants were the perfect canvas.  But what to add?  Cupcake and I discussed mermaids, princesses, dinosaurs and stars.  Then we came up with the jackpot: Sheepie.  If you know anything about my daughter, it is that she loves her little stuffed lamb.  Sheepie goes everywhere with us - church each Sunday, the zoo, grocery shopping.  Sheepie was even in the pictures with Santa.  Why not immortalize him on some pants?  

They were going to be hippie pants with a little bit of everything on them - I sketched stars on one hip, dinosaurs on the opposite thigh.  Of course we thought of the sheep after that so Sheepie was added to the back of one leg.  I started sewing Sheepie before the other designs, because that's what Cupcake was most excited about,  And then I realized just how long hand-sewing takes.  My hands got tired and my elbow was sore, the deadline was looming and Sheepie really was the best thing going for these pants so I stopped after that.  

 One slight problem: the sheep was on the back of the leg.  It would have worked with other things sewn onto the front, but by itself it was just sad.  So I cut the leg off and turned it around and sewed it back on.  Now there is a random seam across the leg, but I don't mind it, and Cupcake is too enamored with the sewn sheep to care.  I love how the simple embroidery transformed these plain pants into favorite ones.  There will definitely be more hand-sewing in my future!

06 August 2015

Ice Cream

At the end of July Cupcake turned three!  (And I turned three two.)  We had a big backyard barbecue - hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad, and a 10 gallon bucket of strawberry limeade.  Along with the cupcakes and cookie bouquet, we made six kinds of ice cream.  Six.  Because we don't do anything half way here.

We asked Cupcake what kind of ice cream she wanted, and she replied with "pink."  So after much debating, we settled on this recipe for Pink Lemonade Ice Cream.

1 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk (we used half and half)
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

To make it pink lemonade, add a full can of lemonade concentrate (half wasn't enough) and some food coloring.

For root beer we added extra vanilla and some sassafras flavoring (no clue how much, just added more until it tasted right).  This was probably the most popular flavor.

We also made cake batter ice cream, with the addition of 3/4 cup of a yellow cake mix.  I would suggest cutting back a bit on the sugar because this stuff was sweet.  I tried to add sprinkles, but they all sunk to the bottom.  This recipe suggests whipping the cream first, which would probably help with that.

We used a couple of different freezing methods.  We have an ice cream ball (mixture in one end, ice and salt in the other, shake until frozen), and a friend has an in-freezer style with a turn crank.  As a last ditch effort (since I hate buying ice), I put the mixture into a yogurt container and stuck it in the freezer, shaking or scraping it every half hour or so until solid.  Honestly, you can't tell them apart.  They are all a nice soft serve consistency that is perfect straight from the freezer.

And in case you were wondering, Aaron also made a peachberry passion (peach, strawberry, passion fruit) and lychee ice creams, and I made some orange coconut.