Christmas Advent

Christmas Advent

Do you have traditions in your home?

A few growing up for me were to help light the Sweedish Angel chimes trying not to burn the Cupids, sitting on the couch next to my two sisters,  and listening to my dad  reading Luke 2.

My mom would always make a delicious meal with cookies as an evening treat. Then we would open our stockings on Christmas Eve. Some years (when we were on good terms with each other), my 2 sisters and I would all sleep in the same room. We would take turns  peaking out the window to watch dad bring in the hidden presents from the car.

After my husband and I got married, we didn’t really carry any traditions through. But then when we had kids, suddenly it was important to us again. With our boys 6 & 8, we now daily do 4 advent calendars (3 routinely that is) with them and our boys just love it! 

 ADVENT #1  LEGO

This Advent Calendar is always my boys favorite. Each day you open a window, and put together a mini build.

ADVENT #2  HALLMARK – JINGLE

Jingle is an interactive stuffed dog who barks and sings.  It comes with the reading of two movies online,  book series, and a countdown ornament book. We read the daily snippet, and my boys hang the ornament on the wooden slat tree my husband made. 

ADVENT #3  CANDY COUNTDOWN

 I painted a card stock holder from Hobby Lobby and painted numbers on each drawer.  The clay Christmas tree is courtesy of my 8yr old who said day 25 just looked boring!  I put 2 pieces of candy in for each day. 

What traditions do you love holding onto in your home and what makes them special to you? 

Wishing you a very Merry and peaceful Christmas to you and yours this year! 

Blessings,  Joy

 

Play Kitchen Oven Mitt

Play Kitchen Oven Mitt

I always thought I’d have daughters. I grew up with my two sisters and so I guess that’s what I expected I’d get. When God blesses me with two boys, I was kind of scared, as it was completely uncharted territory for me!
When my sons were little, I wanted to get them started on the idea of home economics. I thought since I enjoyed that as a little girl, they possibly would too. My husband and I got them the little IKEA kitchenette, and gave it a few upgrades.

I sewed a small apron and oven mitts for them to give them more dress up play opportunities. From the minute my sons donned the apron and oven mitts, they were in pretend baking heaven! They both loved that they could be “just like Mommy”, and act out the same things they saw me doing in the kitchen.

To me, these are quick and simple oven mitts, that can be made quickly, and from scraps you already have, or maybe up cycled from clothing you no longer want. Create memories and visual play with these great designs for the little one in your life!

Download your free Play Kitchen Oven Mitt and Instructions.

Halloween Costumes

Halloween Costumes

Halloween used to be the holiday Icompletely ignored growing up, and now that I have kids and am a costume designer, it has become my favorite one, next to Christmas. I love the excitement and joy that making custom looks gives my boys and my niece and nephews. As they are getting older now, I know these years are short, and I cherish each handmade memory that I can create for them.

INSPIRATION

We came off this year already with a few Aladdin costumes, and spare costume pieces throughout the year such as a few skirts, a hoop skirt, a corset, and of course the normal pirate garb. Though some years, I’ve instructed them to grab something from their closet to wear, I prefer to take special requests and am challenged if they come up with something interesting, like Nathan’s blue jay costume from last year. My boys, along with their cousin, requested to be the Lego Ninjago characters of Lloyd and Zane. My niece chose to wear her Princess Jasmine costume, and nephew, a glowing stick man. Love.it.all! 

MATERIALS

For the ninjas they decided to skip the actual “lego yellow man” look, and just look like themselves in the lego character’s costume. So, I purchased a green tablecloth for James’ green ninja look, and gold & silver glitterbug fabric from JoAnns for Lloyd and Zane. I made their gi patterns myself, and spray painted some inexpensive ninja swords from Walmart. The looks came together pretty easily and all three in 3 days. They weren’t exactly complete looks by day 3, but the kids were all elated and enjoyed them fully just as they were. A thankful Halloween for sure!

MORE COSTUMES

My husband and I worked with what we already had in our closets and sent as Rey from Star Wars and a Jedi.  

My sweet niece and I.  We were freezing!

Dog or Cat Hat Pattern for Kids

Dog or Cat Hat Pattern for Kids

My kids have always done things, especially their play, outside the norm. We’d buy them the latest robotic stem gadget off Amazon, and though their interest would be peaked for a few hours, they’d quickly head back to the cardboard box and markers. Somehow, they’ve always found a way to repurpose items meant for other things. If you also have a creative child or grandchild, you must know exactly what I mean.

It came upon many occasions where I would suddenly see my boys acting as animals in their play times. James always seemed to be the cat, and Nathan the dog. They’d just play happily as themselves for hours on end, and once in awhile be biting down on the dog bone softies I had made Nathan when he was 2 years old. Out of their creative play, came a need for these role play hats. And now they are available to you as well with dog bone included!

The hats can be made from cotton, fleece, flannel or even fur. Such a quick sew, and delightful item to be used over and over for years to come. Best fit for 2-5 year olds. 

Download the pattern from Etsy!

Frozen Fever

Frozen Fever

Before the very first frozen came out, I was working on designing Anna’s outfit, from the few internet pics and clips Disney released. I’d pause it, zoom into pictures, try to find every angle of their costumes….every revealed detail, and put it into my design. After all, a critical trait of a great costume is the quality of the design and look alike characteristics of the characters. 

 

A few years after the Frozen scene was still on fire, and young little girls were looking for more, Disney released a short sequel to Frozen, called Frozen Fever. A cute short story of a surprise birthday party, and Elsa sneezing out baby snowmen. I was intrigued by the different costumes they gave them, even more elaborate than the first. 

I bought new strange fabric to pull off Elsa’s new leafed bodice and glittered train. Anna’s outfit came alive, bursting with sunflowers and intricate, embroidered design.

I recreated the majority of Anna’s new look, using the same Anna complete pattern I had made, except shortening the sleeve, converting the vest to a square neckline instead of princess cut, and adding a green vest, trimmed in turquoise bias tape. 

Elsa’s look also involved using my original Elsa Ice design, but shortening the sleeves, and appliquéing by hand over 100 shiffon leaves to the outer bodice. 

Both looks turned out to my satisfaction, and were spot on with the movie. A bit lengthy to stencil, but a pleasure to use a cutting device for Anna’s vest and skirt details. Now who is anxiously awaiting for Frozen 2 to come out in November?! That’s right! You and me! And they spared no design detail on Elsa’s new ballerina cloak! I’m excited to make it!