Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring Mantel

I love changing my mantel for the makes me happy.
Especially when it is wet and windy.
I can pretend that it is almost my house, at least!
My decorating itch gets teased when the new Pottery Barn catalog comes in the mail.
Since I don't want to pay $40 for a stem of flowers...I usually try and copy and then throw the catalog out.
Of course it isn't as nice a PB...but that is okay.

The books and camera were Matt's Grandmas...LOVE!

Do you change out your mantel for the seasons?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ruffle pants with a matching necklace...

I found some fun fabric at the store the other day...
it's blue jean like...but with gold thread that makes it shimmer.
I decided to make another pair of ruffle pants!

Then...with the extra fabric I decided to put together a matching necklace.
How fun is that? 

I wish I was able to take some cuter photos...but the model was DONE.
She wouldn't even smile...hence the headless shot.
(Ignore the Rusty Bucket tattoo on her arm.)

I think I like the coordinating look.
I might add another layer or ruffles on the bottom...we will see. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Party at the Dyksterhouse Diner

We have been blessed with such great neighbors...and so many great kiddos in the neighborhood.
Honestly, we love having them over.  So we decided to open the Dyksterhouse Diner for Valentine's Day!

The house was all decorated.
The Valentine's Day questions were all ready for the adults to take with them on their date night.

We had a blast with the Mustache and Lips!
These are the Howell kiddos!
Love them. 
Zoe and Kalie are great friends!
They spend hours together doing homework, playing and just talking. 

These are the Stauffers.
Ava and Gisele are the same age as Kalie and Adison...they have become fast friends as well.
Anji and I love to do crafts together...and just sit and relax.
She is the leader of the Bible Study I go to on Thursday mornings.
Love this family too! 

Jen and Wyatt are our newest friends.
Wyatt and Ethan are in the same Boy Scouts together and actually live right around the corner!
Ethan and Wyatt love to play Legos together and just do boy things!
Jen is so great.
She was super supportive when Matt decided to cook a Canadian Goose...GROSS!

The cutest!

Here we all are getting the directions on how the kiddos were going to earn money to buy their dinner.
They received dollars for: coming, being respectful, sharing, participating in the games, and for being cute.
Our first game was search for the quarters.
They were hidden all over the house.
(They needed quarters for their meal too.)
The second game was charades...Valentine's Day style!

Searching for quarters in Matt's office.

Matt is amazing.  Really...he is.
He was so excited to hang out with the kiddos and help with all of the fun!
I love him.

We made the Dyksterhouse Diner Valentine's Day menu.
There were so many choices...all kid friendly of course: hamburgers, hot dogs, mac n cheese, chicken tenders, chips, applesauce, oranges, grapes, cheese sticks, carrots, and of course they all had to think about the cost.

Ava was being a great big sister helping Gisele figure out what to order.

These guys are our neighbors next door: Ethan and Austin...we call this Ethan, BOB.  It's just easier.

After dinner we made Valentine's Day cards for our loved ones. The boys did a great job! have a talent!  Beautiful job.
Even Matt joined was his first time ever stamping!
He was so excited...really...he was!
And look at his card...pretty amazing. 
The girls were all upstairs primping: hair, nails, a change of clothes...

We made YUMMY bars...Valentine style.

Then the girls got their stamping and card making on!
I realized how much I miss having friends over to scrapbook.
I have to do that soon.

Zoe...she is so cute.

Here is the party!!
We had so much fun!

And of course...every party needs to have a crazy picture.

And...this is what happens when you talk smack to Matt.
He just takes you DOWN.

We ended the night with a classic Valentine movie: Lady and the Tramp.
I love Valentine's Day.
I know I am blessed with love.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Day...2012

Valentine's Day is a lovely holiday...
I love red, pink and hearts.
They make me happy...and so does my family.
Moving away from the extended family has been hard...we miss our family.
The kiddos miss their grandparents and aunts and uncles...and especially their cousins!
So...we decided to have a letter writing party.
We each wrote a letter and then everyone signed it.
I love getting a fun little card in the mail...I actually like getting anything other than another bill!
So, we thought we would just send a little Valentine to the family we love.
Here are a few of the cards I whipped up.

These are the kiddos and their Valentine's for school.
They were super easy! 
I just had the kids hold out their hand, I snapped a ton of pictures,
went to, picked the best photo, put on a Valentine's Day border, made them into wallets, picked them up at Meijer
 (saved $.80 a photo by ordering them through Meijer),
punched two holes, stuck a sucker and DONE.

A strand of hearts and I Corinthians 13...
please ignore the spelling has been corrected...
and I am just too lazy to take another photo.
Just love me.
That's what Valentine's Day is about.

Tulips from my friend Loida. 
My Valentine's Day isn't anything too special.
I should have taken some close ups...the scrabble holder says,

I hope you have a great Valentine's Day!
You are Loved.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Sewing new FAVORITE thing

This blog started out a year ago... because I wanted to share my favorite things.
I have a new favorite thing...
My Grandmother's Sewing Machine.
I've always loved sewing...and have used a machine that I bought at a garage sale for $10.
It did the job, but took FOREVER to do what I wanted it to.
Strings would break every time you put it in reverse.
The tension was always wrong.
It only had a straight stitch...and that was even hard to get right.
But, I loved making things...and used it.

However, I am able to say good bye (with out any tears) to the old machine.
I am ready to bury it in the backyard, because now...I have something so beautiful and wonderful...
it almost makes me cry.
I would like to introduce you to: GENEVA!
She is lovely and genuine.
She is gentle and smooth.
She is relaxed and straight.
She is not afraid to take chances with new stitches.
She is amazing...just like my GRANDMA. the few weeks that I have had her I have spent hours making a few new things.
Here is my new ruffle skirt...made from t-shirts! 
It cost me NOTHING...except for HOURS of ruffles and sewing.
But, with Geneva...that was easy!

Then I made a few baby gifts.
A tie onesie...and a soft cuddly blanket to match.
Isn't it cute?
Seriously...that tie!
I would LOVE to make more of if you want me to make one for you...let me know.
I would make the blanket and onesie tie...for $35.
Here is a different print...

So after blankets and onesies with ties on them, I decided to try out a few other pinned items on Pinterest.
Are you on Pinterest? is a great place to find fun ideas...and to waste a lot of time.
I love it...well, not the wasting of time, but finding the ideas.
If you want directions to any of these ideas...go to my pins and the links will take you to the right blog.
I also decided to make a few ruffle pants for my girls.
These pants were really just "practice"...
but they turned out so well that my daughter is actually wearing them to school today. 
Hurray for kiddos wanting to wear the things I make for them!
I wonder how long that will last. **wink.**

They go so well with her Matilda Jane outfits.
Love Matilda Jane...but I can't afford it all of the time.
I am looking forward to making the girls "jean" ruffle pants next week.
I think I will make them a little more slimming...these ballooned a little too much at the bottom.

And then I have made MORE pillows.
This one is so trees.
She sits in my craft room...this one I could also make if anyone is interested.
Cost of this pillow case...$15.
(does not include that pillow form.)

So...that is what I have been sewing with my new favorite thing. 

Grandma, you are loved and I am SO thankful for your gift.
I will use it often and promise to take good care of her.
I will think of YOU every time I sit down in front of her.
I will be filled with joy...because of YOU.
Love you Grandma.

P.S.  Nothing brightens my day more than a little if you want to make me smile...why not tell me which project you like the best?  Thanks friends!