A Simple Birthday Theme

A Simple Birthday Theme

Our oldest turned 8 back in January. I have been so busy sewing that it has taken me awhile to share pictures from the party!

It has been a wild 8 years! As my husband and I were celebrating 6 years of marriage, we  were into our careers  and pretty sure we weren’t going to have kids. We were in one of the hardest seasons of our marriage.  My husband had his deployment overseas canceled, we moved back home to Ohio, and were both without jobs for 4 months. We were struggling more than ever.  Then, in the midst of our sorrow, I was pregnant with  our son. He was my reason to go on and work hard again.  

8 years later we  celebrate the many joys God has allowed into our life because of our son. He has a wealth of talent, design, thoughtfulness, and wonder! We are so  thankful our story changed when he came into our lives!

We gathered with family to celebrate. Our family braved a January snowstorm to celebrate with us. Maybe they did it because there was warmth, maybe because there was food, but I think most of all because they love our little man so much. My heart is full.

We do birthdays pretty simple over here, and though I thrive on a good Pinterest party hack, the simple but lovely is usually all I have time for.


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

The decor was simple crete paper, a banner made at home from card stock, a few gold frilly things, and some of my son’s toys set out (aka…art supplies and stuffed doggie friend), well….because…it was a very RAD dog + painting celebration for our special 8yr old!

We had a quiet day of visiting, sharing, opening gifts, excitement, and lots of love. We are so grateful that our family is nearby and all the endless support that they give!



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How to create a Chalkboard wall with a twist!

How to create a Chalkboard wall with a twist!

chalkboard wall

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

wallpaper remover

 There is a three quarter wall in our house that divides our kitchen and living room. Since we moved here, my husband and I have talked about what to do with that wall….take out the wall and open up the space (what I want to do), or turn it into a half wall (what he wants to do), or cut a “window” into it. Choices, choices, but for now it stays just like it is. Now the problem was that the kitchen side of this wall was covered in wallpaper.

Wallpaper does have it’s place, but never in any of my homes. I always take it down. Always. My friend warned me before I started to peel that there were some serious wall issues underneath. I soon learned that she was so right and that the wallpaper had a well deserved purpose being on that wall! 

chalkboard wall

My son helped me when he got excited and picked up the scraper or water bottle pretty often on his own accord to help.

Fortunately for me he LOVES squirt bottles and has gotten VERY acquainted with a scraper and a paint roller these last few years. I love him joining me in the crazy things I just must attempt :). I’m just awaiting the day when he tells me, “Mommy, you’re not doing it right.”

chalkboard wall

And there it was. Look at that eruption of hideous gold tones underneath that wallpaper!  

Upon the unearthing of this gold atrocity, there were also many areas of the wall that needed some extra TLC with applications of joint compound. That patch down in the center, next to the outlet, looked like a drywall patch gone wrong. It was uneven and flimsy, obviously not attached to a stud and covered incorrectly all those years ago. 

I can’t say that I know the exact method to repair many things, but I’m slowly learning as my husband teaches me along the way. Thanks to my Dad I learned how to paint a room correctly (and many other skills), and thanks to my husband, I have learned how to replace electrical outlets and switches, use power tools (many different drills), hang my own decorations on the wall, and do a little home repair work.

We have worked on fixing up 4 of our homes/rentals in the past 10 years and I continue to learn. We are confident this is the last place we’ll live in, so we are doing it right and just the way we want it.

chalkboard wall

However, it was  not GOLD PAINT! There was a small pocketed area down at the bottom and I started to peel…..and peel…and peel it did! Nathan ran back for the fun! 

chalkboard wall

 After 2 days we discovered that only the lower half peeled off to reveal what felt like an oil based blue underneath. I think that’s why it peeled off. Latex based paint does not cover oil based well at all. So then, Nathan learned to use joint compound and we covered a zillion divots and imperfections in the wall. And then we sanded, and sanded. . .

chalkboard wall

 And before I decided to patch, instead of peel more, I stared at this gold/tan/blue spotted wall for nearly two weeks…part in procrastination, and partly to see if I should decide to peel the really stuck on portion of the gold. After two weeks, I decided “No” was the answer, and just patched that seam with joint compound and sanded to make it even. 

chalkboard wall

 Moving on…we primed with an oil based primer. I prefer the Zinsser brand .

 

chalkboard wall

And after once coat of primer, it was starting to look better:

chalkboard wall

 I painted gray on the upper 3rd of the wall. 

chalkboard wall

I wanted the wall to have some design and whimsy to it, so I opted for a patterned design. I cut a zigzag shape out of regular computer paper to use as a guide, and then used masking tape to mark out a repeated pattern. I made sure to measure down from the top of the wall to make sure my line stayed straight.

I started drawing a tighter zig zag, but changed my mind and ended up widening it.

chalkboard wall

 Using a roller and a quart of Chalkboard Paint 

,

I painted the lower half of the wall. After one coat it looked like this:

chalkboard wall

And after a second coat:

chalkboard wall

 I added a few practical decorations in the corner. I used a  A palette shelf (bought at a favorite local shop of mine) for a few of my favorite cookbooks and some art.

To finish it off I added  a vintage looking wall clock from Ikea, and turned a piece of Lexan .

chalkboard wall

To create the memo board, I left the outer plastic on the front and back of the Lexan. I then made a quick template with a post-it note in the corner, and drilled a hole. Drill slowly and steadily (do not use pressure on the power drill), so that the Lexan won’t crack.

chalkboard wall

 After drilling through all four corners, I the plastic removed rom both sides of the Lexan and secured it to the wall with 4 counter sink screws.

chalkboard wall

And my boy got to testing the wall out right away that next morning! Nathan’s first order of business was to draw a train track…and he went big! 

chalkboard wall

 Even Daddy got in on the action and drew a steam engine for Nathan : ). 

chalkboard wall

And we draw, and draw, and draw now! The invitation is always before us and we love it! We even found  Non-Toxic White Dustless Chalk .

<iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=joy2sew-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B010BTLTSG&asins=B010BTLTSG&linkId=17d1cc6df33dfc8cb39ff714f71c8e38&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”></iframe>There is less mess, and while that white chalk haze seems to linger after being water washed, it’s still so much fun!

We are so pleased with how it turned out!

chalkboard wall

 What to draw, what to draw : )…Turns out that “erasing it” and painting over the chalk with water and a paintbrush are equally as fun to a toddler! Gotta love that too!

UPDATE: Years later we are still loving our chalkboard wall. The paint has lasted well. We enjoy using it as the back drop for celebrations! Check out How to throw a Simple Birthday Party

chalkboard wall

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Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Sofia Pattern Giveaway!!!

Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Sofia Pattern Giveaway!!!

At Joy2Sew we are so excited to be hosting our first Halloween Giveaway, and it is a BIG one! It runs for 7 days from today, October 9 through the 16th (at midnight). One winner will receive all of the items listed below.
You can win:
Five JOY2SEW PDF Digital Patterns… 
– Olaf Costume Pattern
– Elsa Ice Pattern 
– Elsa Coronation Pattern
 – Anna Pattern 
– Sofia Pattern 
PLUS a $20 JoAnns Gift Card
ENTER HERE:

You have various options on how to ecru more points for the giveaway! You can share this giveaway with your friends via email, Facebook, Pin on Pinterest and Tweet on Twitter to raise as many points as you can. The more you share, the more points you will get toward your win!

When you comment on this blog post to answer the questions, you can register as anonymous, but then please add you first name and e-mail address, so that we can contact you if you are a winner! 

Thank you for participating!


Easy OLAF Pattern!

Easy OLAF Pattern!

 Exciting news!!! Our OLAF pattern has just released in our Etsy and Craftsy shops for purchase, and just in time to whip some up for Halloween!!  The pattern features 6 crossover sizes: 12-18mo, 18-24mo, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 and 10/12 With the pattern you can make the head/hat and the body, with either a zipper or velcro back closure (both full instructions included): Easy to read, step by step directions included: ….with even a clear table of contents to help you easily navigate the choices. Preview of what our professional and easy to print. Example pattern pieces : (for pattern pieces that require more than one page, you will just overlap the blue dots provided and tape it together, creating full-sized pattern pieces) A huge thank you to my wonderful testers for their amazing work!Olaf CostumeWith this new Olaf pattern, you’ll be ready to make your own wonderful Frozen line up with all of our wonderful and very popular Frozen Inspired Costume patterns! Elsa Ice Dress and Olaf made by the talented Angel Tirrell-Voss for her adorable kiddos using two of my patterns! LOVE seeing them together!!  Get your copy today and look just like Olaf!!!  now available on Joy2Sew Etsy or Craftsy!  
Olaf Costume

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My wonderful Olaf Testers!! Week 1 Testing.

My wonderful Olaf Testers!! Week 1 Testing.

This past week I had the priviledge of having a team of wonderful seamstresses make amazing Olafs with my new, soon-to-be-released pattern (on Saturday!!!)! They did an amazing job, and I can’t wait to show off their versions and adorable children in them!!!! Let me just show off some of the amazing Olaf pictures that they sent me…
In order of size…..12months through 12 years

 Oh, my goodness!!  Could Olaf get any cuter with that face?!! Carol made her son the 12-18mo size Olaf (and small hat), and his little face says it all! You would never know it was pretty hot out that day, as he is just loving that costume! She said it was so comfortable and easy to get it on and off, even for an on-the-go kid! Such a delight to work with Carol! 

 Aww!!! I know, right?? So adorable!!! I just have the best testers with the cutest kids!! Rebecca from First Steps Boutique also made her son the 12-18mo size as well, and he is wearing it well!

Hollie from Kremer’s Kustoms Etsy shop did a wonderful job on her daughter’s 18-24mo sized Olaf! She said it was easy to get it on and off and her daughter enjoyed being in it. Hollie has been a joy to know and work with. She even made that beautiful Anna Coronation dress from my good friend, Marci’s pattern. Love the two together from the movie!!
Leah started sewing a few years ago, and has such a natural talent for it! She has done such a professional job executing every pattern she makes. It’s been a pleasure to have her join me through my Anna, Elsa Coronation and now Olaf! She made the 3/4 (and medium hat), and it was a good fit on both her daughter and son! She says it is very versatile costume, and she likes that it can grow with your child. 
Jane made a fantastic size 3/4 and medium hat for her cute little girl! I love that she’s not only looking so cute, but dancing in it already! I love that a little girl can wear her hair up or down inside the hat and it still fit and be comfortable. She’s wearing the outfit really well with a black long sleeved shirt and leggings…a perfect choice! 
Carol also made her older son the size 5/6 and medium hat. She made a wonderful example of what the body will look like without a lining, or being stuffed with fiberfill. Her son does not care to be too warm (neither do I!), so she used the choice to omit the stuffing and cotton lining. I love how the whole costume looks just as fabulous either way! What a great fit!! 
Samantha joined my sewing team on my Elsa Ice Leotard pattern this summer, and she is such a great new friend now! Not only is Samantha a great sewer, but she has two adorable girls and lives in Australia! Having her input and international perspective on the pattern has been so valuable in allowing this pattern to be understood by all across the globe. Sarah is wearing the 7/8 body and large hat….and definitely not minding the spring heat! 
I’m so glad Kimberly joined me in this testing round. I first met her when she blew me away with the cool iron-on Anna transfers she made with my digital stencils for her Anna dress back in February. She is quite the artist and sewer! She made the 7/8 size, large hat. Great fit and so true to the movie!!! Great sewing, Kimberly! 

You can see that the hat has an easy closure system at the bottom, either using velcro (in pattern directions) or a snap (just an idea instead). Your kids will be happy and warm all winter
 long in their Olaf hat! 

Lore from Five Blessings Boutique made the size 10/12 with large hat. As a new sewing friend on Facebook, I’m so thankful to have her sewing for me! She has some amazing clothing available for little kids and even takes custom orders! Check out her shop on Facebook!

…and I even have more to share with you!!! More awesome OLAF pictures to come! All my testers have blown me away with their OLAF costumes! I am so honored to have each of you on my sewing team! You are what allows me to have patterns that everyone loves.
And wow, do we put my patterns to the test!

ONLY 2 days left until the pattern release!!!! Are you excited?!!!!

Olaf Preview…

Olaf Preview…

It’s been very busy behind the scenes at Joy2Sew lately. I’ve been creating an array of Olaf’s for you! I’ve made adjustments here, shortened there, and now I’m very pleased to say that we’re already one week into its testing phase! I have a wonderful and impressive team of seamstresses working to help me bring you another awesome pattern…and just in time for Halloween! 
Johanna is the other creative half of Joy2Sew and just as important! She digitizes all my work into beautiful, easy to read and print patterns, and adds the professional touch to our photos! We took all our boys out a while ago (that’s right, no girls among us!) and took some great shots of them having a blast in their Olaf costumes! Such a fun time! We both know what a blessing and joy that it is to have such delightful boys! We hope you enjoy the slideshow! I’ll be posting several Olaf Tributes throughout the week, so be sure to PIN (pin button at the post end) and Facebook your favorites!! 
I’m aiming for an Olaf release before September’s end, so keep watching Joy2Sew and especially my Facebook page to catch the latest news! 
Micah is 4 and is showing of the 3/4 size, medium hat
Caleb is 5 and is showing off the 5/6 size, large hat
Daniel is 10 and is showing off the 10/12 size, large hat

 And don’t those hats look so cute with their winter coats?!!! 
Such cuteness they will be all winter long!

 Johanna with her wonderful boys ~

 Caleb with my son James ~
 Me and all the boys! Although…I’d claim them all! Love these boys!

 On another day, I even got into the size 10/12! If you are a small adult, it will fit!! I was just having a bit of fun with my boys too..
 Nathan is 3 and is sporting the 3/4 size, medium hat
James is 10months and is wearing the 12-18mo size (unstuffed version), small hat
I’m wearing the 10/12 (but afterward made better changes to the body of this size), large hat

Are you ready for Olaf?!!!!!! 
I can’t wait to show you some other cute kiddos in Olaf soon, as well as the awesome costumes my testers team are producing! Amazing!!! 
Like JoytoSew on Facebook and start Pinning away (“pin it” button right below)!!