Pennant Bunting

These are the windows in our office / playroom/ game room. They looked a little bare so I decided to spruce them up.

So here’s what I came up with:

The bunting has some pops of turquoise in it which matches with other bits of turquoise in the room.

I chose to use fabrics I had in my stash and stayed in the blue and orange families. After ironing the fabric I was ready to cut out my triangles.

I am an impatient crafter so I wanted to make this banner as quick as possible. I initially used a piece of cardboard that I had cut into a long triangle. FAILURE – this did not work. I cannot eyeball a triangle. I kept snipping away at it, after every few triangles I cut, and finally decided I needed a new plan.

I marched upstairs to my computer, printed out this triangle on card stock, and cut it out. My new template worked great.

Her’s a sampling on my fabric pieces. This picture is actually from the first few triangles which are not shaped like I wanted.

Roughly every six inches I pinned triangles to a long pieces of think white trim.

I then sewed two simple straight (ok, curvy) lines across the top and bottom of the trim.

Simply hung it with push pins after.

I love this so much that I’m thinking of all the places I could place pennant buntings in my house…Caroline’s room, on the stairs, a Christmas bunting, a birthday bunting, ……gotta go cut some triangles.

Classified Ad

I was perusing through the classifieds the other day when I came across this ad.

After the first read through I snickered.

After the second I was horrified.

After the third I was counting my blessings.

How does it make you feel?

Mermaid Costume

I made my daughter’s Halloween costume this year.

She is going as a mermaid.

Or she might be Bette Midler.

You be the judge.

The resemblance is striking I know.

Caroline loves mermaids so this was a natural choice this year for her costume.

Beware of this tutorial – there are many photos and only rudimentary sewing instructions.

I first started with a long sleeve shirt which was given to us as a hand-me down.

I ultimately decided I would make her costume into a dress since it would be easiest for her. Plus, bikini tops on little girls creep me out.

I cut the sleeve off of the shirt and cut the collar to make it a little wider.

Next, I took purple cotton fabric and cut out two semicircles of material to try and make some cap sleeves.  I then sewed some purple flower trim onto the long edge. The trim was quite delicate so I had to sew it with a needle and thread.

I then gathered the top portions and held it with pins so I could use my machine to sew.

This gave the sleeves a curved shape.

When my six year old saw these he said, “Oh, are those for Caroline’s chest?”

The sleeves also received another line of trim on the gathered side. Once the sleeves were finished I hand sewed them onto the shirt.

Feeling that one more layer of flowers was needed I hand sewed the third line of flowers. I was very worried at this point. I was worried I had the “more is better” syndrome and would ruin the costume.

A little sequin sparkle in the center of the top and that section of the costume was complete.

Here are the materials I decided on for the tail. I know, low key. Nothing flashy here.

I folded the sequin material in half so that once I cut around my template (not the actual template in the photo, can’t figure out where it went) I would have two full tails.

I sewed the tail together, turned it inside out, and stuffed it.

It is about this time where I realized I was making a slightly deformed mermaid. The size of the tail should probably belong to a mermaid which is 7 feet tail. But I was this far into it and not about to turn back.

I left an opening on the side so I could sew in some elastic for her to wear around her wrist in case she wanted to hold the tail up. I should have sewed it in when I initially sewed the tail.

This actual bottom portion of the costume I pondered for days. I looked at mermaid costumes online and watched the Little Mermaid intently (not!), I finally decided on a side tail for her. I thought it would be fun for her to have something to drag but I also needed her to be able to walk. Here’s what I did.

I gathered the material (have no idea how much) and made it come to a rough point at the bottom. I sewed the edges down and sewed across the whole bottom.

My next challenge was to figure out how to get the bottom section attached to the shirt.

I finally settled on cutting the side of the shirt about 8 inches and then pinning the shirt and green material together.

This is the costume after sewing the two major pieces partially together. I left one side of the costume open in order to add the middle trim.

My idea was to sew the purple sequin trim by hand.

I tried and failed. It was cumbersome and the thread kept getting caught on individual sequins.

Instead, I brought out the trusty glue gun. Normal sewers are gasping at the thought.

Glued the tail trim on as well.

Finally sewed up the side of the costume

You can see the arm elastic on the tail here.

The final result:

My Little Mermaid!

Showing off her mermaid swimming skills

One costume down, four to go.


Making Todays Creative Blog Weekend Bloggy Reading


Have you ever had this problem?

I’m going to get my hair colored tomorrow and I’m trying to come up with an excuse.

It’s actually worse than it looks.

I have a good two inches of brown hair followed by 8 inches of blonde hair. Oh so attractive

I know what’s going to happen when I enter the salon. A disgusted colorist will look at me repulsively while I say, “I know its been four months since I’ve been here but I was kind of busy.”


“I was trying to save some money so I waited to come in a little longer than usual.”


“I made sure to wear a hat all the time.”


“I actually never left the house during the last two months of this debacle.”

So I’ve been brainstorming..I think I’ll get a different look this time.

“While visiting a friend in Africa I was kidnapped and forced to marry a Zulu prince. But I escaped two weeks later when I jumped out of our canoe and battled a crocodile while getting to shore. I then came across military forces who took me into their operation and trained me to become a gunner until I met a young woman I thought I could trust. Turns out she was recruiting women to become geishas and I was just what they were looking for. I was the headline performer at the Sumo National Championships. Thankfully an audience member recognized me from a television appearance and was able to pay for my freedom. I just returned to the US this morning and this was my first stop.”

I’m betting this will get me a full highlight for the price of a partial.

Do you ever need excuses for your hair?

A Look Back at Our Halloween Costumes

As we are narrowing down our costume choices for this year, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane at our past Halloween costumes.

Through the years the kids have come to expect me to make their costumes and believe I can make just about any character. While that may not be true and some of the costumes may be simple, I love making these and seeing their faces as they put them on.

Kermit the Frog
 (green pants, green shirt, felt details, fabirc covered hat with half ping pong balls)
(pants, rain boots, raincoat, fire hat)
Winnie the Pooh & Roo
(Pooh: While shopping in Babies R Us one morning with the boys, Alex decided he wanted to try on the Winnie the Pooh costume. I put the one piece on him, zipped him up, and let him look in the mirror. When I went to get him out of the costume, the zipper stuck. I mean, would. not. budge! I tried and tried to get him out of the costume. I ended up getting scissors from a clerk and cutting him out. I now had to buy the costume and was now the proud of two pieces of a costume with a broken zipper. When I took the costume into Hancock Fabrics to ask if there was anyone I could pay to fix the costume, an employee took pity on me and fixed the costume for free. So that’s how Alex ended up being Winnie the Pooh for Halloween).
(Roo: Since we already had a Pooh I decided we needed a Roo. Andrew’s costume is actually a monkey costume with a blue shirt I wrote on over the costume).
A Pirate and a Parrot
(Parrot: green overalls with Kermit the frog shirt from 2003, red hat, felt feathers in front and back connected by pins and elastic at the wrists)
(Pirate: shirt with iron on transfer, hat was bought, the rest of the costume (belt, hook, & pants were inherited from my sister’s college days – the pants were originally a skirt I altered from the original costume)
A Saints football player & Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat
(Saints player: costume was given to Alex)
(Curious George: brown track suit, hat covered in brown felt with fabric ears I made, candy bucket was brown fabric covering the bucket with felt bananas attached)
(Man with Yellow Hat: yellow shirt from Goodwill, felt tie, felt covering a hat with rulers underneath to keep it standing up)


Costume Party

Pirate & Captain Rex from Star Wars
(pirate costume with beard, store bought costume for Captain Rex – it killed me to buy this costume but I did it because he wanted it desperately)
Halloween Night
Captain Rex and Peter Pan
(Peter Pan was a store bought costume too – I caved in Party City)
Night at the Museum Costumes
 (Sacagawea: brown material with added fringe & turquoise beads I sewed on)
(Larry Daley: regular clothes with name tag that read “Larry”)
(Fighter Pilot: not technically in the movie – consignment store costume)
(Teddy Roosevelt: brown pants, brown shirt, glasses, and belt from Goodwill, cowboy hat bought)
Burger King, Dairy Queen, a Werewolf, Little Red Riding Hood, and a Ninja
(King & Queen: bathrobes from Goodwill with added fur trim, hat made from cardboard and silver tape, signs were made from sticky felt)
(Werewolf: regular clothes torn up with fur sewed into the clothes)
(Little Red Riding Hood: red skirt, white shirt, tights, consignment shoes, gingham fabric with red trim)
(Ninja: black pants & shirt, top shirt was fabric with hole cut out over head and tied with black fabric, black fabric wrapped around his head)



What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes you remember?

Making Todays Creative Blog Weekend Bloggy Reading Tuesday To Do Party

Free Museum Day – Saturday September 24

Two years ago we visited the  the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas. Now a plane is a plane is a plane to me. But to the boys (including my husband) this place was wonderful because of its various aircraft and in depth aviation history section. I, on the other hand, only thought it was wonderful since it was free. We went on the national Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day.

Tomorrow it is happening again all over the US.

Each of the 50 states has one or more museums participating. Just in the Dallas area alone there are 10 museums participating.

The one catch to this program is that you have to have a ticket which was printed out from the website. You cannot show up to the museum empty handed hoping to get in for free.

Each ticket you download is good for two people. Make sure you read through the site in order to download your ticket and to receive your confirmation emails. Remember, no ticket, no free entrance.

Here’s a shot of what the form looks like in order to get your tickets.

For more information concerning free museum day visit the Smithsonian Magazine website here.

For a list of museums participating in free museum day go here.

***You must have a printed ticket that you printed at home in order to get the free admission*****

Hope some of you are able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!


My 2 year old’s horoscope yesterday:

 You’re in the middle of a busy phase. Take new responsibilities. Put more energy into your projects.

My horoscope on the same day.

Surround yourself by the creative spirit of the youngest generation. You can’t bottle youth, but it’s communicable.

 Take a look at our house.

I’m choosing to embrace this as the creative spirit of the youngest generation.



Halloween Mantle Part 2

This is the second part of our mantle how-tos. If you would like to see part one, go here.

FYI – I don’t feel too well and my daughter didn’t nap this afternoon so this will be short and sweet. I’m sure I will be back and wordy soon.

On Monday I shared how I made the spooky books, the branches and bats, and the banner. Part one includes a free printable of the banner.

Today we’re going to start off with the glittered skull.

I saw several versions of the glittered skull in stores but couldn’t decide which one I liked best so I waited until inspiration struck.

While browsing the Habitat for Humanity store I found two candlesticks, each for $1.00. When I saw them I instantly knew they were perfect for my skull project.

I also bought a foam skull from the craft store for $3.50 (with coupon). Sliver glitter is shown but I also mixed it with equal parts orange glitter once I started. And any good crafting project always uses Mod Podge.

First step: Brush some mod podge onto the skull – I found it best to cover about a quarter of the skull at a time.

Pour glitter over the mod podge.

Once the entire skull is covered with glitter and completely dry spray with surface sealer (found at craft store).

Hot glue the skull to the never touched perfect as is when bought candlesticks. Told you I wouldn’t be wordy.

My two completed glitter skulls sit on the extreme left and right of the mantle. Smaller versions of these skulls would also be fun to attach to a Halloween wreath.

Next up, the Three Witches  stamp art in the large frame.

As with the branches, I needed some height in the middle of the display so I used a frame I had stored in my closet. The skeleton directly in front of the frame was from a candle party I went to a long time ago.

I contemplated writing the “Three Witches” but decided against it because I was worried I would slant the ends of each sentence if I used a marker. In reality using the stamps presented the same problem. I did end up slanting a bit but I think it looks fine.

I took out my stamps from when I taught in the classroom and went to work late one night. It’s really a simple project but I think the variations in ink make the paper look a little old. This stamping turned out really well when I used it in a Thanksgiving display too.

I created a printable of the same scene which you can download here.

So I think that covers the mantle and the how to’s.

(The large spider web on the left is actually an outdoor light I bought on clearance a few years ago. The “31” is just a quick print out and framed. The haunted house is from a store in Wisconsin which I bought last year during a sisters weekend. The splashes of purple are Mardi Gras beads placed in flower jars.)

So in the end I was a tad wordy.

I’ll leave you with a quick Halloween joke. Enjoy.

Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road?
It had no guts…:)

Weekend Bloggy Reading


Dear Young Female Driver,

I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to you for teaching my children about white trash behavior today. It is with the utmost most respect that I retell this story so that others will bask in your glory.

I was leisurely driving my kids to piano lessons when I noticed the navy Honda Accord I was following gradually slow to a virtual stop in the middle lane. I slowed and waited until the Honda started moving again. I remember thinking at the time how odd it was to stop in the middle of the road. But silly me, you were just preparing for your lesson.

About one minute later, the slowing down occurred again. I was confused since there was not a light in sight. I see now that this was just your introduction.

I honked my horn to make you aware that you were holding up traffic and I was concerned about this potentially dangerous situation. You though were concerned with the lesson. Immediately after I honked, you gave me the finger. A beautiful up sweep of your left arm shooting upwards while pointing your middle finger to the sky. My nine year old was certainly paying attention now.

I took this as a teaching moment when all I really wanted to do was show you how graceful my arm movements can be.

“You see, Alex, this is what we call white trash behavior.”

In his entire nine years I had never broached the subject with him before but I see that you were right and I needed to widen his horizons.

After your initial teaching you swerved into the right lane.  I stayed back a bit but notice the light ahead had turned red. I pulled up beside you.

It is here where my six year old is also included in this life lesson since his view of you was now not obstructed.

You turn, just as I do, and scream “F**k you bitch.”

Such precious words for my children.

Normally I would have told my children you screamed, “Firetruck in the ditch!.” But you made sure there was no mistaking your sentiments with your rolled down window.

I could have continued on with your insightful teachings but I decided that our cup overfloweth with white trash knowledge for now. Best to leave some things for another day.

I took an unnecessary turn and left you to spread your wisdom to others.

What a wonderful teaching moment for my family.

In between being kind to others and telling the truth, I had neglected to share in the teachings of the middle finger and foul language.

Well done, young one.

And they say the youth of America doesn’t appreciate education…from where I’m sitting I’d have to disagree.

Halloween Mantle with a Halloween Printable

After much pleading by our six year old, we made the trek upstairs to dig our Halloween decorations out of the storage closet. The kids spent many happy hours playing with plastic spiders and assembling a mini skeleton. I was overjoyed that I was able to have our house decorations up  in a little over an hour.

Here’s our Halloween mantle:

Today I will share with you three of the elements of the mantle – the bats & branches, the books, and the banner. Plus I have a printable, so keep reading.

First up, the bats and branches.

My challenge for the mantle each time I decorate it is to add height to the decorations. Our ceilings in this room are two stories tall so I try and have our display be on the same large scale.

The spray painted branches were used in previous holiday mantles. During Christmas they held ornaments while during Valentine’s they held hearts. Tuesday To Do Party

The bats were cut out of black construction paper last Halloween but were never used for a project so I thought they would be perfect taped to the trees.

The spooky books are simply books covered in white paper and taped together. It was frightening how many gorey words my two oldest could come up with in when faced with the task of creating titles for these books. I insisted we tone it down for the display.

Last year I created the “Trick or Treat” banner by cutting out orange triangles, pasting white circles with letters on it, and adding stickers for the symbols. After I modge podged it, poked holes in it and strung it by a ribbon, it was finally completed. Frankly, tons of work.

I wanted to create a printable for you and figured this would be easy to recreate. In fact, it was so easy, I’m going to create all my banners this way. 

The printable I created for you consist of 12 separate Halloween symbol triangles and 8 separate triangles with letters which will spell out “trick or treat“. You will need to print out the letters t and r multiple times.

I printed out the symbols on card stock, cut holes on the sides, and attached with string.

Here are five triangles which were chosen by my six year old to display by our entrance.  (Uhhh,yes…dirty mirror alert.)

If you’d like the Trick or Treat banner printable please click here.

*Please consider becoming a follower of Big D & Me if you decide to print the banner*

Wednesday I will share with you how I made the large Macbeth sign and the glittered skulls.

Do you have any favorite Halloween decorations in your home this year?

Making Todays Creative Blog Weekend Bloggy Reading